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Your Weekly Constitutional
You are a part of the American Experiment.
Category: News
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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December 11, 2019 11:13 AM PST

The air is, once again, heavy with talk of impeachment. It’s happened three times before (if you count Richard Nixon’s resignation, which you should).

Stewart talks with his buddy Russell Riley from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where the talk is almost always about presidents, and, sometimes, about impeaching them.

December 11, 2019 10:43 AM PST

Recently, Stewart attended a conference at Montpelier focused upon the essential role that Virginia has played in establishing and maintaining representative democracy in North America and the pivotal year of 1619.

Jon Alger, the President of James Madison University, also attended. The two of them discuss what they learned, and what they and many others are doing to extend Virginia's legacy.

December 11, 2019 09:52 AM PST

“Domestic terrorism” has been in the news a lot lately. Many of the mass shootings we’ve recently experienced seem to have been motivated, at least in part, by white supremacist ideology, perhaps with the intent to provoke widespread terror. This has prompted at least one proposal in Congress to create a domestic terrorism statute mirroring laws already in place to fight international terrorism.

Doug McKechnie, our First Amendment Guy, discusses some of the constitutional issues such a statute would create, including not only concerns about free speech and association, but also about wiretaps and other forms of government surveillance.

And, anyway, are such laws even necessary? Aren’t there already statutes on the books that criminalize murder, assault, damage to property, and conspiracy? Is this a road we want to go down?

November 20, 2019 02:38 PM PST

Donald Trump calls himself Tariff Man, and he certainly seems to enjoy waging his trade wars. Has he exceeded his constitutional authority? What, precisely, is a tariff, anyway? And who has the power to impose them?

Joel Trachtman of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University shares his expertise with Stewart, and, boy, does Joel know a lot about law, economics, and, well, tariffs.

October 25, 2019 01:25 PM PDT

Earlier this year, we told you about the push for Virginia to become the final necessary state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. That hasn't happened yet, but the battle continues.

We speak with Virginia's Deputy Solicitor General, Michelle Kallen, who guides us through the constitutional thicket.

October 03, 2019 01:32 PM PDT

Sophia Rosenfeld is a historian at the University of Pennsylvania. She's published an incisive and timely book about the fraught relationship between democratic governance and, well, the truth.

Turns out that when it comes to politics--SPOILER ALERT--not everything you hear is factual. And some people--SPOILER ALERT--believe falsehoods even after they've been debunked.

But aren't facts necessary to democratic debate and governance? How can we address these fundamental problems? Sophia has a few ideas. Join us!

September 24, 2019 08:00 AM PDT

Steven Waldman has been writing about religion and spirituality for a long time. He is the co-founder of Beliefnet, a website devoted to such issues. More recently, he has written a book about the history of religious freedom in the United States. It’s called Sacred Liberty.

Join us for a spirited, and spiritual, discussion.

September 11, 2019 12:31 PM PDT

Recently, Montpelier installed a time machine in the Potter Family Studios. Stewart had the honor of being the first to try it. So, of course, he set his dials for the founding era, and, of course, his first guest was James Madison.

With a little assistance from Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Bryan Austin, Stewart had a delightful conversation set in two pivotal years: 1776 and 1787. Then Bryan broke character to tell us about his exciting career and the unlikely path that led him to Williamsburg.

September 05, 2019 11:06 AM PDT

Birds migrate. So do monarch butterflies. And so do constitutions.

So says A.E. "Dick" Howard, the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. And he should know--over the past fifty years, whenever constitutional ideas migrated from the United States to other countries, Dick Howard seemed to be there.

August 28, 2019 01:30 PM PDT

We finish our two-part interview with our go-to guy on all things Brexit, British barrister William Walton of the University of Hertfordshire.

Will Brexit happen, despite the lack of an agreement with the EU? What about Ireland? What about Scotland? What about Wales? Is the UK on the verge of a breakup? Will the world economy crash? With Parliament suspended, is democracy in Britain dead?

Think we’re overstating it? Think again.

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