Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

12th Amendment

How Aaron Burr changed the Constitution

June 15, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

Former vice president Aaron Burr usually isn’t credited as a Founding Father, but there is one instance where Burr directly helped to change the Constitution by forcing the passage of the 12th amendment.

Has the time come to shut down the Electoral College?

March 22, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston looks at the current debate over the Electoral College and why history, as well as contemporary politics, may be stacked against its elimination.

10 people who very nearly became President

February 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

On Presidents Day 2019, Constitution Daily looks at two “what if” scenarios that would have given us 10 different Presidents through history. What factor would have given us Samuel Tilden, Willie Mangum or Aaron Burr as the nation’s leader?

On this day: A tied presidential election ends in the Washington

February 17, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was on this day in 1801 that the House finally decided a tied presidential election because of a constitutional flaw: the deadlocked race between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

Looking back at the last presidential election settled by the House

February 9, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

It was 190 years ago this week that a constitutional crisis was averted when the relatively new 12th Amendment to the Constitution settled the last presidential election decided in the House of Representatives.

The day the Senate picked a U.S. vice president on its own

February 8, 2019 By NCC Staff

One of the little-understood provisions of the 12th Amendment allows the U.S. Senate to name a Vice President under very limited circumstances. It happened once, on this day in 1837.

What happens when no one wins a presidential election?

June 15, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

We don’t talk a lot about the 12th Amendment at the National Constitution Center, but this week marks a milestone that is an important part of the Constitution: It allows Congress to settle disputed presidential elections.

A Common Interpretation: The 12th Amendment and the Electoral College

December 14, 2016 By Sanford V. Levinson

As part of the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution project, Sanford Levinson from the University of Texas examines the Electoral College’s origins, its evolution, and reform measures related to it.

James Wilson, popular sovereignty, and the Electoral College

November 28, 2016 By Matt Riffe

One of many compromises at the Constitution Convention, the Electoral College gives the people a voice in the selection of the President.

Don't expect Electoral College drama on December 19

November 15, 2016 By Scott Bomboy

Despite a popular petition on the Change.org website about how the nation’s 538 electors should vote on December 19, there seems to be little chance of the tactic changing the recent presidential election’s outcome.

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