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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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August 04, 2019 05:09 AM PDT

What’s up with all the new laws on abortion? What do they contain? Why now?

Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, has written several books on abortion. She puts everything in historical context, and speculates on what might happen next.

Trigger warning: this episode includes some explicit discussion. It may not be appropriate for younger listeners.

August 03, 2019 11:46 AM PDT

Does the Supreme Court need saving?

Ganesh Sitaraman thinks so. He teaches constitutional law at Vanderbilt University, and, like many of us, he is troubled by current political challenges to the Supreme Court’s legitimacy. Unlike most of us, however, he has some concrete proposals to save it. He and co-author Daniel Epps have put their ideas into writing in an article that will soon appear in the Yale Law Journal.

As Stewart points out, some of the proposals in the article are pretty radical, but Ganesh has thoughtful and interesting arguments in favor of them.

Join us for a deep dive into the highest court in the land.

July 26, 2019 09:44 AM PDT

A year before Little Rock, twelve brave African-American students in Clinton, Tennessee, participated in the first court-ordered integration of an all-white high school after Brown v. Board of Education.

Retired attorney Jerry Shattuck, who was a student at Clinton High at the time, tells the tale. This one will bring tears to your eyes.

July 24, 2019 09:19 AM PDT

Ever since the release of the Mueller Report, we’ve all been hearing about something called “obstruction of justice.” But what, precisely, does that mean? And what is this thing called the "OLC" that apparently prevented an indictment of Donald Trump, regardless of the evidence against him?

Former federal prosecutor Benjamin Vernia enlightens us.

July 20, 2019 02:52 PM PDT

Many people bemoan the growing gaps in wealth and income in our country, as well as their negative effects on our political discourse and our trust in our government. Akram Faizer has some concrete proposals to fix at least part of the problem. Some of his proposals are quite controversial. All of them are interesting.

July 19, 2019 12:47 PM PDT

You’re young, innocent, female. Perhaps 18 years old. You’re walking down the street in your hometown on a fine spring day.

A car pulls to the curb. A man gets out. He has a gun. And a badge.

“Come with me,” he says.

“Why?” You think perhaps someone has been hurt.

“You’re under arrest.”

“What? Why?”

The cop gives you a hard look. “Suspicion of promiscuity.”

Seems unlikely, doesn’t it? Laughable. But it’s no joke. Such things really happened, and not so long ago, to thousands of American women. One of those women was Nina McCall. Author Scott W. Stern tells us all about it.

May 16, 2019 12:20 PM PDT

Linda Monk has been on our show before, to discuss her wonderful books, "The Words We Live By" and "The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide." She was also this year's keynote speaker at Montpelier's celebration of Presidents' Day, where she confessed to Stewart that she has a longtime crush on James Madison.

December 28, 2018 08:36 AM PST

The Blue Wave that recently swept over the House of Representatives and a number of state legislatures was powered largely by women, and resulted in a number of new elected officials who look a lot less white and a lot less male than their predecessors.

Author Sayu Bhojwani anticipated this phenomenon in her new book, People Like Us: The New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy’s Door. Join us for an interesting take on the changes in our republic that are taking place before our very eyes.

March 14, 2019 12:58 PM PDT

Andrew Boyle works for the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. He and Stewart start at the very beginning of a very current issue: What, precisely, constitutes a “national emergency?” Who gets to declare one? And what happens then?

Specifically, can Donald Trump use the powers granted to the Executive during a national emergency to build his wall? He’ll face a fair amount of resistance, and Andrew and Stewart consider the various forms it might take.

December 24, 2018 03:26 PM PST

Montpelier's African American Descendants' Project seeks to identify and create bridges to living descendants of the African American women and men who were enslaved at Montpelier and elsewhere in Orange County, Virginia.

Hannah Scruggs is an important part of the project. In addition to her research skills, she brings her heritage: she is a descendant of a nearby enslaved community.

In this episode, she shares her experiences, professional and personal, with Stewart.

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