Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Article I

When Congress last used its powers to declare war

December 8, 2017 By NCC Staff

Today marks an important anniversary in American history: the congressional declaration of war on Japan on December 8, 1941. But since then, Congress has rarely used its constitutional power formally issue a war declaration.

The constitutional clause at issue in the Menendez trial

October 11, 2017 By Ugonna Eze

The criminal trial of Senator Bob Menendez is well underway, raising a number of important constitutional questions on democratic representation, legislative-executive relations, and the rule of law.

On this day: Congress officially creates the U.S. Army

September 29, 2017 By NCC Staff

To some it seemed like a technicality, but on this day in 1789, President George Washington succeeded in getting the First Congress to recognize the U.S. Army under the terms of our new Constitution.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the limits of presidential power

August 7, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

It was 53 years ago today that a joint session of Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, an act that led to the Vietnam War’s escalation and the eventual passage of another act seeking to curb presidential powers.

Blame Abraham Lincoln for the nation's first national Income Tax

August 5, 2017 By NCC Staff

Most people aren’t big fans of a national income tax, but it was on this day back in 1861 that the first one was levied by the new President, Abraham Lincoln.

This week in Supreme Court history: New limits on the spending power

June 30, 2017 By Symone Mazzotta

On June 23, 1987, the Supreme Court upheld the ability of the federal government to impose conditions on money received by the states.

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: Applying the Constitution to Guantánamo prisoners

June 29, 2017 By NCC Staff

On June 29, 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that the Bush administration's use of military commissions to try suspected terrorists was illegal.

Democratic lawmakers sue President over business ties

June 14, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

Seeking to shore up Congress’s power to block President Trump from gaining benefits from his business empire, nearly 200 Democratic members of the House and Senate sued him in an unprecedented lawsuit on Wednesday.

How Philly lost the nation’s capital to Washington

May 15, 2017 By NCC Staff

Philadelphia was the early capital of the United States after the Constitution was ratified, but on May 14, 1800, the nation’s capital moved to Washington. So who was behind the deal that changed the face of American government?

Happy 219th anniversary to the U.S. Navy Department

April 30, 2017 By NCC Staff

The United States Navy actually has two birthdays—one in October, and one today. So what is the difference between the two days and why is it constitutionally important?

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