Most of us focus so much upon the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court that we sometimes forget that there is more than one constitution in the United States. There are fifty-one constitutions, to be precise, one for the national government, and one for each of the fifty state governments.
Jeffrey Sutton, a federal appellate judge, has written a timely new book reminding us of the importance of those fifty state constitutions, and of the state courts that interpret them.
Doug McKechnie, who teaches constitutional law at the United States Air Force Academy, has just written a law review article in which he neither praises nor condemns Donald Trump's tweets. Instead, he suggests that, love 'em or hate 'em, those tweets have small-d democratic value.
Lacy Ward, Jr., of the John Marshal Foundation, tells us about Barbara Johns, a sixteen-year-old girl who, in 1951, led a student walkout to protest her separate, and very unequal, public high school in Prince Edward County, Virgina.
After leading the walkout, Barbara Johns contacted the NAACP, which took her case all the way to the Supreme Court, where it eventually became part of Brown v. Board of Education.
Virginia has now designated April 23 as Barbara Johns Day.
Join us for a fascinating, inspiring, and poignant tale about a woman who really does deserve her own day.
Matt Reeves, Montpelier’s Director of Archaeology & Landscape Restoration, tells us how he is using a new technology, Light Detection And Ranging, or LIDAR, to peer beneath the forest canopy and find traces of the past that have been hidden for centuries.
After we finish with Matt, we’ll talk about a controversy over California’s ban on small, “battery” cages for chickens, and how that ban affects interstate commerce -- and how Congress may soon respond. Our guests are Dave Duquette, the National Strategic Planner for Protect the Harvest, and Bob Martin, the Director of Food System Policy at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Professors William Walton and Tony Storey of the University of Northumbria recently brought some of their British and European law students to Montpelier.
After a tour and a discussion of the First Amendment, Stewart invited the students into the Potter Family Studios to ask them about their impressions of the United States and its Constitution. Stories, insights, and a bit of hilarity ensued.
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on immigration. The problem is that those opinions are often diametrically opposed.
Enter Stewart's colleague at Lincoln Memorial University’s Law School, Akram Faizer. Akram recently published an intriguing article in the Tennessee Law Review in which he suggests that conservatives and liberals might be able to agree on a policy employed by other nations: a much-expanded guest-worker and asylum program -- without a path to either permanent residency or naturalization.
But what about that pesky Fourteenth Amendment? Could guest workers effectively waive the rights of their unborn children to citizenship? Congress could certainly pass a law to that effect, but it would certainly be challenged. No doubt some children of guest workers would eventually object to the denial of what they would consider their constitutional birthright.
Join us for a timely and controversial discussion.
Mary Anne Franks teaches constitutional law at the University of Miami. She’s noticed that some people don’t just admire the Constitution, they worship it. Or, at least they worship the parts that they like, parts like the First and Second Amendments.
But there are lots of parts of the Constitution, and many of them are, arguably, just as important as the First and Second Amendments. How should we balance them all?
Join Mary Anne and Stewart for a fascinating and enlightening conversation about how modern Americans view their most basic law.