Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Could Texas secede from the United States, if it wanted to?

May 2, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

The upcoming Republican state convention in Texas may consider the topic of the state's secession from the United States. Here's a look at what practical and constitutional barriers would prevent that.

Supreme Court rules on political speech and the First Amendment

April 29, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, a case that began with the innocuous actions of a police officer helping his bedridden mother.

Earth Day, politics and the law

April 22, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

Friday, April 22nd marks not only the 46th Earth Day, but also is when the United States and China will be formally signing the historic Paris Agreement on climate change that was finalized last year. Earth Day’s purpose is to bring attention to conservation and environmental protection, and the inherently political nature of these goals is underscored this year by the singing of the accords.

Previewing today’s immigration arguments at the Supreme Court

April 18, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

This morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case challenging President Obama’s 2014 executive action regarding immigration. Here is a breakdown of the basic arguments in the case.

On This Day, the fight for Fort Sumter begins

April 12, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

This week marks the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter, the first formal act of aggression between the Union and Confederacy.

The controversy over the direct election of Senators

April 8, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

The 17th amendment, which was ratified 103 years ago today, profoundly changed how Senators were chosen to serve in Congress. The amendment remains controversial in the context of how the Founders viewed that process.

On this day, Jeannette Rankin’s history-making moment

April 2, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

It was on April 2, 1917 that Jeanette Rankin became the first woman in Congress. But within days, she became the target of national scorn for voting against America’s entry into World War I.

When privacy and the press collide

March 24, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

Who gets to decide what is "newsworthy"? A high-profile dispute between Gawker and Hulk Hogan asks the question.

Hecklers and the First Amendment on the campaign trail

March 18, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

Free, robust, and intense political debate is a hallmark of any legitimate democratic system, but recent events on the 2016 presidential campaign trail have highlighted questions of the limits of political protest and the intersection between political speech and violent action.

McCulloch v. Maryland: Expanding the power of Congress

March 6, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

On March 6, 1819, the Supreme Court ruled in McCulloch v. Maryland, holding that Congress has the power to establish a national bank.

Sign up for our email newsletter