Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Congress

After a century, the Panama Canal still symbolizes executive power

August 15, 2019 By NCC Staff

As the Panama Canal celebrates its birthday today, the bold act of one U.S. President still resonates as a stroke of policy genius or a grand expansion of executive power.

10 fascinating facts about Watergate

August 8, 2019 By NCC Staff

On June 17, 1972, police caught five men breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. So how did a “third-rate burglary” escalate into a near constitutional crisis?

On this day, Truman, Congress decide current line of presidential succession

July 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1947, Congress changed the order of who can succeed the President and Vice President in office, more closely reflecting the wishes of the Founding Fathers.

How Philadelphia lost the nation’s capital to Washington

July 16, 2019 By NCC Staff

It’s a sad day for some historically minded Philadelphians: It's the anniversary of the congressional act that moved the nation’s capital from their city to Washington, D.C.

Looking at America’s forgotten War of 1812

June 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed a resolution, approved in Congress, declaring war against Great Britain. Over the next two and half years, both sides engaged in bitter contests, and the war ended with much unchanged between the two countries.

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.

Court pace quickens on Trump records disputes

May 23, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

The pace of court review of President Trump’s resistance to handing over his financial records to Congress quickened on Wednesday, as a second federal judge refused to protect those documents from disclosure and lawyers in a separate case moved to put that one on a fast appeal track.

Sweeping power to investigate Trump’s finances upheld

May 21, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Ruling that Congress has wide-ranging power to investigate President Donald J. Trump’s finances even without opening an impeachment probe, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered a private accounting firm to disclose eight years of his private business records to a Capitol Hill committee.

The man whose impeachment vote saved Andrew Johnson

May 16, 2019 By NCC Staff

After being impeached, President Andrew Johnson survived his 1868 Senate trial by just one vote. And to this day, how that vote was cast remains shrouded in controversy.

Swift ruling likely in first round of Trump financial records subpoena fight

May 10, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston explains why the fight between House Democrats and the Trump administration over the President’s business records could move quickly through the legal system.

Sign up for our email newsletter