Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

20th Amendment

Five little-known men who almost became president

August 11, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

What do Benjamin Wade, Willie P. Mangum and John Nance Garner all have in common? If not for a last-second decision, or a twist of fate, they might have become Acting President of the United States, in an era before the 25th Amendment existed.

Interactive Constitution: The Twentieth Amendment

July 17, 2017 By

Edward J. Larson and Jeff Shesol discuss the Twentieth Amendment, an important constitutional change that has never been the subject of a Supreme Court decision and has rarely been interpreted by lower courts.

Happy 228th Anniversary: Government begins under our Constitution

March 4, 2017 By NCC Staff

It was 228 years ago today that the federal government started to operate under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, as the Confederation Congress ceded power. However, there was a major problem with the first session of the new Congress: not enough members showed up.

10 people who very nearly became President

February 20, 2017 By NCC Staff

On Presidents Day 2017, 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?

A historical first and last - FDR’s final inauguration

January 20, 2017 By NCC Staff

The Constitution now sets January 20th as inauguration day every four years, but it was 72 years ago today that a historical first – and last occurred: The inauguration of a U.S. President to a fourth term in office.

What constitutional duties are placed on the President Elect?

January 6, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

On Friday afternoon, a joint session of Congress is expected to certify Donald Trump as the winner of the 2016 presidential election. Under the current version of the Constitution, does the President Elect have any constitutional duties or rights?

The forgotten man who almost became President after Lincoln

April 15, 2016 By NCC Staff

On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died from his assassin’s wounds. But if John Wilkes Booth’s plot were entirely successful, a little-known senator may have been thrust into the White House for almost a year.

20th Amendment: Presidential Term and Succession

February 20, 2014 By NCC Staff

This so-called "Lame-Duck" amendment reduced the previous four-month period between the November elections and the March 4 starting date of congressional and presidential terms.

20th Amendment: Presidential Term and Succession, Assembly of Congress

December 17, 2013 By NCC Staff

This so-called "Lame-Duck" amendment reduced the previous four-month period between the November elections and the March 4 starting date of congressional and presidential terms.

Should Congress really be allowed to work at home full time?

March 26, 2013 By Scott Bomboy

For the second time, a member of Congress is proposing rule changes that would let lawmakers telecommute to Washington and pass laws without meeting face to face. But is that in the best interests of voters?

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