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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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March 17, 2017 07:06 AM PDT

Sometimes we start an interview thinking that we’re going to talk about one thing, and then the conversation takes an unexpected turn.

Stewart recently spoke with Brian Klaas, a Fellow at the London School of Economics, expecting that they would discuss gerrymandering – and they did, eventually. But first the conversation veered down a dark path: the global rise of authoritarianism.

Brian's written a book about this disturbing subject. It's called "The Despot's Accomplice."

March 10, 2017 11:45 AM PST

What happens if the President dies or resigns? What happens if he goes, well, nuts?

Our original Constitution was a little bit vague on those subjects. Fortunately, 50 years ago, during the height of the Cold War, the 25th Amendment was ratified. It answered at least some of these pressing questions.

We’ll speak with someone who participated in its drafting, Professor John Feerick, the former Dean of Fordham Law School, who is also the author of the Pulitzer-Prize-nominated book, "The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Application."

March 04, 2017 11:49 AM PST

Abraham Lincoln saw us through the greatest constitutional crisis in our history. But he was more than 50 years old when he became our President. How did he spend the first half-century of his life? Mostly, he practiced law. And his law practice prepared him for the challenges to come.

Join us for a fascinating discussion with Steven Wilson, the Curator and Assistant Director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University.

February 25, 2017 07:17 AM PST

We’ve spoken with Elizabeth Dowling Taylor before, about her groundbreaking book “A Slave in the White House.”

Well, Beth has kept on writing, and this time she’s expanded her focus to the proud “colored aristocracy” that emerged in the United States after the Civil War. She focuses upon two of its members — Daniel Murray, the son of a former slave, who, in 1897, became chief of periodicals at the Library of Congress, and his wife, Anna, a descendant of one of John Brown’s raiders. Beth documents the inaugural balls they organized, the properties they owned, and their political efforts on behalf of their race.

She also chronicles their decline -- ultimately, their affluence, respectability, and light complexions couldn’t save them from the humiliations of Jim Crow.

Join us for a poignant glimpse into a largely forgotten era in our constitutional history.

February 18, 2017 09:23 AM PST

Every year it seems that more states legalize marijuana in one form or another. Could the national government be next? Or have the recent elections stopped the progress of legalization efforts?

We’ll speak with Howard Wooldridge, of Citizens Against Prohibition, as well as Scott Chipman, a spokesperson from CALM, Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana. We'll also hear from Robert Mikos of Vanderbilt University, who spoke to us about the constitutional issues back in 2013.

February 15, 2017 04:20 AM PST

As we've discussed before, Patrick Henry was more than just one speech. Indeed, he played an important role in protecting our liberties long after the Revolution was over, especially when the First Amendment was under assault.

Author John Rogasta tells us all about it.

February 04, 2017 06:38 AM PST

Ever heard of the Privilege and Immunities Clauses? Yep, there are two of them, and if they seem obscure to you, well you're not alone. The Supreme Court has interpreted them very narrowly - some would say "almost out of existence."

Akram Faiser, a professor at Lincoln Memorial University's Duncan School of Law, who holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship, wants to change that. He wants to interpret the Privilege and Immunities Clauses as broadly protecting American democracy by limiting wealth inequality and its political consequences.

Hmm, does that remind you of somewhere? Perhaps Canada? Eh?

January 29, 2017 06:34 AM PST

Our new President has called for jail time, and perhaps a loss of citizenship, for Americans who burn the American flag.

Would such punishments be constitutional? Or would that pesky First Amendment get in the way? We’ll talk to our First Amendment Guy, Doug McKechnie, about this (ahem) fiery constitutional issue.

January 16, 2017 02:29 PM PST

Would you like to talk to a former President? How about a former First Lady or Secretary of State? Think you might learn something?

This week we're talking about a place called the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, which has a very important mission: recording oral histories of each American presidency since Jimmy Carter’s.

We’ll speak with the Miller Center’s Russell Riley, who has recorded dozens of interviews with influential people in several different presidential administrations, and who will share some of the fascinating stuff he's learned with us.

January 07, 2017 08:05 AM PST

In 2016, for the second time in sixteen years, a presidential candidate prevailed in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote – this time by a margin of roughly three million votes. Is it time to change our method of electing presidents?

Constitutional lawyer and historian David O. Stewart thinks so, and he’s decided to devote himself to a constitutional reform movement called the National Popular Vote Initiative.

Can we reform our electoral system without amending our Constitution? Should we?

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