Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Article I

When Congress last used its powers to declare war

December 8, 2018 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.

Space Force could hit a constitutional roadblock: The House

November 30, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

According to a report from Politico, President Donald Trump intends to ask Congress to establish the Space Force as an independent military branch in a budget directive heading toward Congress as soon as this week.

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

September 29, 2018 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 Space Force and the Constitution

August 22, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

The Trump administration’s proposal to create a sixth military service branch to focus on space warfare is raising an interesting debate about the Constitution’s original meaning and how a Space Force would come into existence.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the limits of presidential power

August 7, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

It was 54 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, 2018 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.

How Philly lost the nation’s capital to Washington

May 15, 2018 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 birthday to First United States Congress

April 6, 2018 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1789, the First Congress under our current Constitution met in its first joint session in New York and undertook an important order of business: confirming George Washington’s election as President.

The Alaska purchase: Folly or good fortune?

March 30, 2018 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1867, United States Secretary of State William Seward signed a deal acquiring Alaska, an agreement that was ridiculed by some as “Seward’s Folly” and opposed in the House.

Andrew Jackson, presidential censure and the Constitution

March 28, 2018 By NCC Staff

On March 28, 1834, the U.S. Senate censured President Andrew Jackson in a tug-of-war that had questionable constitutional roots but important political overtones.

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