PolitiFact is a nonpartisan, Pulitzer-Prize-winning organization that checks out various claims made by politicians and pundits. You may have seen its famous Truth-O-Meter in your local newspaper or on your favorite news website.
Some of those claims are constitutional. And we expect more of them as the country ramps up for the 2016 elections. So we've invited PolitiFact reporter Lauren Carroll to help us hook up some of those politicians and pundits to the Truth-O-Meter.
This episode is a lot of fun. Join us!
A.E. "Dick" Howard is among the world's leading authorities on constitutional law and the Magna Carta. He's also articulate, informative and funny. And timely -- after all, the Magna Carta just turned 800 years old.
So join us for a lively and wide-ranging conversation on this foundational constitutional document. It'll be 800 years before we can do this again.
Tavaana is an organization devoted to cracking open one of the most repressive regimes in the world: the theocracy that controls Iran.
One of Tavaana's founders, Mariam Memarsadeghi, will tell us how she's doing it - using a transformative tool called the Internet.
We generally think of James Madison (and most of our Founders) as a bunch of old men carved from marble and placed on pedestals. But guess what? They started out like the rest of us: they were kids and young adults before they became gray-haired and venerable. And what they learned as young people often had a profound effect on what they accomplished as adults.
Michael Signer has written a fascinating book about the boyhood and youth of James Madison, which explores in detail how such a small, sickly, quiet man was able to take on powerful opponents like Patrick Henry and win. Preview: it took lots of hard work.
Why Thomas Jefferson?
Specifically, why do we rely so much on T. Jeffy (and his buddy, Jemmy Madison) to speak for the Founders when it comes to religious freedom? Weren't there other Founders? Didn't they have different opinions? John Ragosta has done the research and written a book, and now he'll tell us all about it.
The United States Constitution creates what legal scholars typically call a "majoritarian" system of government. That is, the majority of voters typically controls the decisions made by the government.
But the Constitution leaves one big issue largely unaddressed: who gets to vote?
Professor Hank Chambers of the University of Richmond's law school helps us sort it all out.
Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. Just what exactly are all of these RFRA's sprouting up all around the country? And how do these similar pieces of legislation, both national and state, fit into the First Amendment's protection of religious freedom? And then what about gay rights? It gets a bit complicated, so Doug McKechnie, our First Amendment Guy, is here to help us sort it all out. Thank Heaven.
You've heard of the Underground Railroad, the clandestine, loosely-organized network of people who helped slaves escape from the South before the Civil War.
But Eric Foner knows more than you do. And now he's written a book about it: "Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad." Join us for a lively discussion with one of America's foremost historians.