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Your Weekly Constitutional
You are a part of the American Experiment.
Category: News & Politics
Location: Virginia, USA
Produced in partnership with James Madison's Montpelier, Your Weekly Constitutional is a public radio show featuring lively discussion of controversial constitutional topics, from Gay Rights to Gun Rights. Find us on Facebook and iTunes!
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We are a radio show about interesting and controversial issues involving the United States Constitution, issues like Gay Rights...


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December 03, 2016 09:50 AM PST

Stewart's college classmate, Bernice Kiyo Glenn, finishes the fascinating tale of her Japanese-American-Hawaiian family and its many dangerous journeys across the wide Pacific Ocean.

November 27, 2016 06:08 PM PST

What Does it Mean to be an American?

Well, it means lots of different things, depending upon whom you talk to and whom you’re talking about. This week we bring you the first part of a compelling, two-part story of a Japanese-American family that spent decades crossing and re-crossing the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Hawaii.

Bernice Kiyo Glenn, a college classmate of Stewart’s, tells the tale.

November 22, 2016 04:33 AM PST

We like to think that we live in a "democracy," even though we know that it's actually something called a "republic." But what's the difference? Is our particular republic something less than democratic?

Well, Michael Klarman of Harvard Law School suggests that perhaps the Framers of our Constitution pulled a fast one on the rest of us, enshrining the power of "elites" rather than the common folk. Sound familiar?

Join Stewart for a fascinating conversation about the nature of American "democracy."

November 11, 2016 12:57 PM PST

We hope that you voted this past week. But we really hope that you cast an informed vote – a vote based upon real understanding of the facts and issues.

Is such a hope realistic? Do most people cast informed votes? Or not?

Join us as we sit down with Political Science Professor Anderson Starling of the University of Tennessee at Martin to talk about his research into political knowledge: how much of it do Americans have, and how do they get it? And, even more fundamentally, does it matter?

October 27, 2016 04:06 AM PDT

It’s been many months since Associate Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, yet still his chair on the Supreme Court bench is empty.

Is the Senate’s refusal to consider a successor constitutional? What are the implications for the Court? For the Constitution?

Stewart speaks with Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice about this important but oft-overlooked constitutional standoff, and what it means for all of us.

October 27, 2016 03:57 AM PDT

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? Not just the "all men are created equal" part, but the whole thing?

If you have, then you've noticed that most of the Declaration is simply a list of complaints against King George III. And some of those complaints seem odd to modern ears. Especially the last one, about "domestic insurrections."

What insurrections? By whom? Rob Parkinson of Binghamton University tells us all about it.

October 02, 2016 01:58 PM PDT

The Constitution gives the President wide powers over foreign affairs, powers which the President typically exercises through his Secretary of State.

Recently our current Secretary, John Kerry, made a momentous announcement with far-ranging legal and political implications: ISIS is committing genocide. And it is committing genocide not only against Muslims, but against Christians and other groups, such as the Yazidi people, who practice a faith that incorporates elements of both Christianity and other religious traditions.

Attorney Ian Speir, who specializes in representing religious organizations, was one of the authors of a detailed report that prompted Kerry to make his declaration. Ian tells us the story and discusses the legal and political implications of genocide.

September 24, 2016 06:45 AM PDT

You’ve seen the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Perhaps you’ve visited.

But did you know that there is an entire university that was built in memory of Abraham Lincoln? It’s called, appropriately enough, Lincoln Memorial University, and the story of how it came about is fascinating.

We talk with Jim Dawson, LMU’s President, and Gary Wade, the Dean of the Duncan School of Law at LMU, all about the university’s history, it’s mission, and where it’s going in the future.

And we also note that LMU's law school has recently added a new faculty member -- someone you might know.

September 16, 2016 12:53 PM PDT

If there are any limits to the First Amendment's protection of political speech, well, Donald Trump seems determined to find them.

He’s called for libel laws to be “opened up.” Can a President do that? He has said things at his rallies that, arguably, have incited his followers to violence. Are such statements constitutionally protected?

Join us for an enlightening discussion with our First Amendment Guy, Doug McKechnie, who teaches constitutional law at the United States Air Force Academy.

September 09, 2016 10:44 AM PDT

Constitutional Tunes! Or, as most people might call them, patriotic music.

Why music? Well, let’s remind ourselves that a written constitution is just a piece of paper unless government leaders and, ultimately, the people themselves, respect it. How do we generate such respect? Lots of ways: by following the law, by voting, by engaging in reasoned political debate (yes, such a thing does exist) by displaying flags and other symbols, and by experiencing patriotic music.

Recently, the Symphony of the Mountains, directed by Cornelia Laemmli Orth, gave a concert of patriotic pieces. Cornelia invited Stewart to narrate one piece. She joins us this week and shares her musical – and constitutional - insights.

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