Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

14th Amendment

On This Day:  You have a right to an attorney

March 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was on this day in 1963 that the Supreme Court handed down the Gideon decision, which guaranteed the rights of the accused to have a public defender in court.

Dred Scott decision still resonates today

March 6, 2019 By NCC Staff

On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Dred Scott case, which had a direct impact on the coming of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln's presidency four years later.

On this day, the Missouri Compromise is approved

March 3, 2019 By NCC Staff

On March 3, 1820, Congress approved the Missouri compromise, a law that maintained a balance in the Senate between free and slave states. The pact only lasted 34 years, and its elimination was one of the contributing factors that led to the Civil War.

Supreme Court confirms Excessive Fines Clause applies to states

February 20, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

In a unanimous ruling on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned an Indiana Supreme Court decision that said that part of federal Constitution’s Eighth Amendment didn’t apply to the states.

On this day, women first allowed to argue Supreme Court cases

February 15, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On February 15, 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a new law that would admit women as members of the Supreme Court bar and allow them to submit and argue cases at the high court.

On this day, the Roe v. Wade decision

January 22, 2019 By NCC Staff

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that continues to divide the nation to this day.

On this day, the Emancipation Proclamation changes history

January 1, 2019 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.

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

November 3, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

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

Testing who is a “birthright citizen”

October 31, 2018 By Lyle Denniston

President Trump has started a new debate about what the Constitution’s “Citizenship Clause” means, but the final answer no doubt will have to come from the courts. The next word from that sector could come in a matter of weeks, from a federal trial judge in Salt Lake City.

Pinky the Dog gets her day at Iowa’s Supreme Court

October 19, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

A dispute about a dog that bit a cat is now at Iowa’s Supreme Court and it addresses an important question about how municipalities can regulate dog breeds deemed as dangerous.

Sign up for our email newsletter