Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Article I

A new move to head off citizenship question on census

June 13, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

With time running out for the Supreme Court to rule on the Trump Administration’s plan to ask everyone in the nation about their citizenship during the 2020 census, the challengers boldly asked the Justices on Wednesday night to give them another chance to block that question.

Rediscovering the ancient “bill of attainder”

May 24, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Federal and state judges these days are finding a new assignment: reading up on what the Supreme Court once called “the infamous history of bills of attainder.” A federal judge in Sherman, Texas, is going to be doing that soon, and there is a real prospect that a judge in New York State will also be doing so shortly.

How Philly lost the nation’s capital to Washington

May 15, 2019 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?

Supreme Court hears extended arguments in 2020 census case

April 25, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On Tuesday, the nine Supreme Court Justices heard arguments for and against including a citizenship question in the 2020 census, a case considered on an expedited basis due to a pending deadline to print the census form.

Happy birthday to First United States Congress

April 6, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 By Abigail Perkiss

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.

The cotton gin: A game-changing social and economic invention

March 14, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On this day in 1793, young inventor Eli Whitney had his U.S. patent for the cotton gin approved, an invention that would definitely have an impact on social and economic conditions that led to the Civil War.

The presidential veto power explained

March 12, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

President Donald Trump has threatened to veto any measure passed by Congress that blocks his national emergency declaration to build a border wall. What exactly is the veto power, what are its limits and is Trump unusual for his lack of vetoes in the past two years?

On this day, government begins under our Constitution

March 4, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was 230 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.

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