Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Article IV

On this day, we added the 50th state

August 21, 2019 By NCC Staff

Hawaii joined the Union on this day in 1959, an act that remains historically significant but not without controversy.

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.

The last time Congress created a new state

March 12, 2019 By

On March 12, 1959, Congress approved Hawaii for admission to the union as the 50th state, marking the last time statehood was subject to votes in the House and Senate.

The man who delivered California to the U.S., and was fired for it

March 10, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On March 10, 1848, the Senate approved a treaty that led to California and much of the Southwest joining the United States. But the man who negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was promptly fired on his return to Washington.

Marbury v. Madison: The Supreme Court claims its power

February 24, 2019 By Nicandro Iannacci

In an act of “judicial jujitsu,” the Supreme Court issued its decision in Marbury v. Madison on February 24, 1803, establishing the high court’s power of judicial review.

On the day, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed

February 2, 2019 By NCC Staff

On February 2, 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico without President James K. Polk’s knowledge. The United States acquired about 55 percent of Mexico’s territory for $15 million.

California three-state plan faces major legal, political hurdles

June 13, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

On Tuesday, California’s secretary of state announced that enough petition signatures were certified to place an initiative on this fall’s ballot to divide the Golden State into three states. How realistic is this proposal and what are the constitutional hurdles?

State judges have been impeached, but very rarely

February 26, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

At least three elected officials in Pennsylvania have mentioned the topic of impeaching and removing five state supreme court judges in an election-map controversy. How unusual would that be and are there any precedents?

Could Texas secede from the United States, if it wanted to?

May 2, 2016 By Jonathan Stahl

The upcoming Republican state convention in Texas may consider the topic of the state's secession from the United States. Here's a look at what practical and constitutional barriers would prevent that.

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