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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!
We are a radio show about interesting and controversial issues involving the United States Constitution, issues like Gay Rights...

by Your Weekly...
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September 30, 2015 02:15 PM PDT

Did you ever wish that someone would write a short, easy-to-read introduction to the United States Constitution?

Well, someone has. Her name is Linda Monk, and her book, just recently updated, is called, "The Words We Live By."

September 19, 2015 05:39 AM PDT

Every summer for the past seven years, Stewart has taught at the University of Tennessee's College of Law, where the faculty is always up to something interesting.

Today, we'll hear from Greg Stein, an expert on (of all things) Chinese property law, who will explain to us just how pivotal his subject is to China's economic rise and its (perhaps not so rosy) economic future.

Then we'll hear from Joan Heminway, who'll tell us all about something you may have heard of, or perhaps even participated in online -- something called crowdfunding.

Join us for Part I of our UT Mashup, 2015!

September 11, 2015 10:29 AM PDT


Is it possible to be both good and effective in politics? If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, you already know the answer to that one. To be a member of the prominent Stark family is to be both good and, most likely, dead.

But is that necessarily true in the real world? This is a question of vital importance in any political system, including our constitutional republic. That's why Stewart (who loves Game of Thrones, by the way) recently sat down with Justin Garrison, a political scientist from Roanoke College in Virginia. It's a fascinating conversation, so bring your wits, and your sword!

September 04, 2015 07:52 AM PDT

Laura Auricchio of the New School in New York City wants us to take a new look at the Marquis de Lafayette -- you know, that French guy who helped George Washington kick some serious British booty?

It seems that, while Lafayette's still quite a hero over here, he's not so well respected Over There.

We'll tell you why.

August 28, 2015 07:33 AM PDT

We just can't seem to get away from the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that various governments have enacted. What happens when one of those acts clashes with an antidiscrimination statute?

Strangely, the flashpoint issue seems to involve cake. Some conservative Christian bakers object to making wedding cakes for gay couples. Does religious freedom trump equality, or the other way around? Two constitutional values are at odds, although the legal issues, for now, are mostly statutory.

Join us for a lively discussion with David Wolitz of the University of Tennessee's College of Law, and Doug McKechnie, our First Amendment Guy.

August 21, 2015 04:39 AM PDT

Barbara Kingsolver, the best-selling, award-winning author, was recently asked to write an op-ed piece for the Manchester Guardian on the continuing controversy over the display of the Confederate Battle Flag. It took her only a day to compose her brief essay, and only a few hours for the responses to start pouring in from around the world.

Join us for a thoughtful discussion with one of the world's great writers.

August 14, 2015 06:38 AM PDT

No matter what you may have heard from your friendly neighborhood neo-Confederate, slaves did not like being enslaved, not even those with "good masters." One man born into the "peculiar institution" decided to do something about it, with tragic consequences. His name was Nat Turner.

Join us for a fascinating discussion of the most significant slave rebellion in American constitutional history with UNC law professor Al Brophy.

August 07, 2015 06:57 AM PDT

The British Constitution may undergo some major changes in the next year or so. Law professors William Walton and James Gray from Northumbria University at Newcastle upon Tyne recently popped in to discuss several pressing issues facing our British cousins:

Will Britain leave the EU? Lots of Britons want to.

Will Scotland secede? It could happen -- many Scots want to chart a separate course. And don't forget: they've got the nuclear submarines. Even more significantly, perhaps, they've got Sean Connery on their side.

Join us!

July 31, 2015 05:31 AM PDT

Chris Phillips is at it again: rousing the rabble by collecting various declarations - starting with our own Declaration of Independence - and putting them online. Not only that, he invites all of us to post our own declarations, which Stewart has already done.

Chris, the author of Socrates Café and Constitution Café, has been on the show several times because he's always making trouble and we always have a good time when he tells us about it.

After we finish our rabble-rousing, we spend a few minutes at Montpelier, visiting the ongoing work at the slave quarters and the newly-refurbished library where Madison conceived the Virginia Plan.

July 24, 2015 03:41 AM PDT

Why Tennessee? Why did the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August, 1920, come down to a Southern state that is not particularly noted for its progressive politics?

Perhaps it had something to do with a little-known incident three years earlier, in 1917, when suffragist leader Maud Younger insisted upon her First Amendment right to speak at a courthouse in Knoxville. Tennessee lawyers didn't support her at first, but, inspired by her courage, the Tennessee Bar eventually came around. Knoxville attorney Wanda Sobieski tells us the tale.

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