If you're a public radio listener, you've heard of BJ Leiderman. Hundreds of times. He's that fellow whose name is announced at the end of so many great shows, from Morning Edition to Science Friday: "and our theme music is by BJ Leiderman."
Did you ever wonder who this guy is? Or how he came up with so many wonderful songs? Stewart did. Then, one day, he received an email message . . . .
WARNING: This episode of Your Weekly Constitutional has nothing to do with the United States Constitution. But it has everything to do with public radio, music and fun. And while the Constitution doesn't expressly mention any of those things, well, perhaps it should.
President Jonathan Alger of James Madison University recently invited Stewart to give the first presentation in this year's Madison Vision Series at JMU. Stewart spent two days on JMU's campus, meeting faculty and students, giving his presentation and, most notably, recording some Constitutional Quizzes with President Alger. The first of those quizzes appears in this episode, which features a fascinating conversation with the man we affectionately call "The Quiz Prez."
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!
SPOILER ALERT: THIS PODCAST DISCUSSES SOME IMPORTANT PLOT ELEMENTS IN "A GAME OF THRONES." SO DON'T CUT OUR HEADS OFF! PLEASE!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.