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Your Weekly Constitutional
You are a part of the American Experiment.
Category: News & Politics
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!
We are a radio show about interesting and controversial issues involving the United States Constitution, issues like Gay Rights...

by Your Weekly...
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January 16, 2017 02:29 PM PST

Would you like to talk to a former President? How about a former First Lady or Secretary of State? Think you might learn something?

This week we're talking about a place called the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, which has a very important mission: recording oral histories of each American presidency since Jimmy Carter’s.

We’ll speak with the Miller Center’s Russell Riley, who has recorded dozens of interviews with influential people in several different presidential administrations, and who will share some of the fascinating stuff he's learned with us.

January 07, 2017 08:05 AM PST

In 2016, for the second time in sixteen years, a presidential candidate prevailed in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote – this time by a margin of roughly three million votes. Is it time to change our method of electing presidents?

Constitutional lawyer and historian David O. Stewart thinks so, and he’s decided to devote himself to a constitutional reform movement called the National Popular Vote Initiative.

Can we reform our electoral system without amending our Constitution? Should we?

December 30, 2016 12:33 PM PST

We’ve talked about women’s suffrage many times before (check the rest of our podcast site if you don’t believe us). But this is the first episode in which we discuss a play about the 19th Amendment – a musical play, no less.

Our guest is Catherine Bush, the playwright-in-residence at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, who tells us all about her acclaimed and historically-accurate production of “Winter Wheat.”

December 23, 2016 09:37 AM PST

We all learned in grade school that Abraham Lincoln “saved the Union.” But, in saving our nation, did he destroy our Constitution?

He did some pretty extreme things, after all, from suspending habeas corpus to signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Were his actions constitutionally justified, or not?

Join us for a fascinating discussion with Daniel Farber, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and who presented this year’s R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture at Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law.

December 16, 2016 01:57 PM PST

If you’ve ever been in far western Kentucky, near Hopkinsville, you may have noticed something strange rising from the cornfields: it looks like the Washington Monument, but it’s not.

It is, in fact, a monument, but not to George Washington. This particular edifice memorializes a man whom we might consider the anti-Washington: Jefferson Davis, the first President of the Confederate States of America.

Stewart recently visited the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site and spoke with Ron Sydnor, its manager. Another surprise: Mr. Sydnor is African-American.

December 09, 2016 02:45 PM PST

Ever heard of Roger B. Taney? He was the Chief Justice of the United States for almost 30 years, from 1836 to 1864. Today, he is remembered largely for one opinion he wrote, an opinion often considered the worst in U.S. Supreme Court history: Dred Scott v. Sandford.

Recently, Taney's bust, displayed in his home town of Frederick, Maryland, was vandalized, and a number of people have called for its removal.

Stewart talks with law professor Josh Blackman about this constitutional debate between present and past.

December 03, 2016 09:50 AM PST

Stewart's college classmate, Bernice Kiyo Glenn, finishes the fascinating tale of her Japanese-American-Hawaiian family and its many dangerous journeys across the wide Pacific Ocean.

November 27, 2016 06:08 PM PST

What Does it Mean to be an American?

Well, it means lots of different things, depending upon whom you talk to and whom you’re talking about. This week we bring you the first part of a compelling, two-part story of a Japanese-American family that spent decades crossing and re-crossing the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Hawaii.

Bernice Kiyo Glenn, a college classmate of Stewart’s, tells the tale.

November 22, 2016 04:33 AM PST

We like to think that we live in a "democracy," even though we know that it's actually something called a "republic." But what's the difference? Is our particular republic something less than democratic?

Well, Michael Klarman of Harvard Law School suggests that perhaps the Framers of our Constitution pulled a fast one on the rest of us, enshrining the power of "elites" rather than the common folk. Sound familiar?

Join Stewart for a fascinating conversation about the nature of American "democracy."

November 11, 2016 12:57 PM PST

We hope that you voted this past week. But we really hope that you cast an informed vote – a vote based upon real understanding of the facts and issues.

Is such a hope realistic? Do most people cast informed votes? Or not?

Join us as we sit down with Political Science Professor Anderson Starling of the University of Tennessee at Martin to talk about his research into political knowledge: how much of it do Americans have, and how do they get it? And, even more fundamentally, does it matter?

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