Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

14th Amendment

On this day, the Emancipation Proclamation changes history

January 1, 2020 by NCC Staff

January 1 is one of the most noteworthy days in American history, marking President Abraham Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

Remembering the Supreme Court’s first dissenter

December 27, 2019 by Scott Bomboy

On December 27, 1771, future Supreme Court Justice William Johnson, Jr., was born in South Carolina. Johnson has attracted a following among Court watchers over the years for his little-understood role as the first prominent dissenter in Supreme Court history.

On this day, Bush v. Gore settles 2000 presidential race

December 12, 2019 by NCC Staff

On December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court ended a Florida vote recount in the presidential election contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore.  The Court’s decision remains debated today.

On this day: The United States formally outlaws slavery

December 6, 2019 by NCC Staff

On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment was ratified after the state of Georgia approved the amendment as it was proposed to the states by Congress. That act officially ended the practice of slavery in the United States.

On this day, Rosa Parks wouldn’t give up her bus seat

December 1, 2019 by NCC Staff

Today marks the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ decision to sit down for her rights on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, putting the effort to end segregation on a fast track.

On This Day: Supreme Court says tax-paying Indians can’t vote

November 3, 2019 by Scott Bomboy

On November 3, 1884, the United States Supreme Court issued one of its most controversial decisions, stating that American Indians who paid taxes didn’t have the right to vote in elections.

Abortion, “Preclearance,” and Court-Packing in Fourth Democratic Debate

October 25, 2019 by Jackie McDermott

Abortion became a major focus for the first time on the Democratic presidential primary debate stage, when Senator Kamala Harris highlighted her plan for cracking down on states that unconstitutionally restrict abortion last Tuesday.

Ramos v. Louisiana: Does the 14th Amendment Require Unanimous Jury Verdicts?

October 9, 2019 by Robert Black

When we think about trial by jury in criminal cases, we all probably envision a 12-member jury that must reach a unanimous verdict to convict. But under a pair of Supreme Court cases from half a century ago, that is not actually a constitutional requirement.

Kahler v. Kansas: Can States Abolish the Insanity Defense?

October 8, 2019 by Robert Black

On Monday, the first day of the new Supreme Court term, the Court heard argument in Kahler v. Kansas, a case that could generate an entirely new line of constitutional jurisprudence. The case revolves around the “insanity defense,” an ancient doctrine under which people who committed crimes because of their severe mental illness would not be held legally culpable.

Supreme Court hears two major cases today on Title VII and discrimination

October 8, 2019 by Scott Bomboy

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two major cases about Title VII and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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