Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center


After a century, the Panama Canal still symbolizes executive power

August 15, 2017 By NCC Staff

As the Panama Canal celebrates its 103rd 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 four decades later

August 8, 2017 By NCC Staff

On a 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?

Happy 59th Birthday, NASA!

July 29, 2017 By NCC Staff

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is such a part of our lives that it’s hard to image it not existing. But on July 29, 1958, Congress and the President moved to make NASA a reality.

Supreme Court decision could hinder Trump recess appointments

July 27, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

Could President Donald Trump use his constitutional recess appointment powers to replace a Cabinet official? That seems to be the question of the day, but it may have already been answered by a 2014 Supreme Court decision.

10 fascinating facts on the Postal Service’s birthday

July 26, 2017 By NCC Staff

On July 26, 1775, the Continental Congress created the Post Office, naming Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. Here’s a look at 10 fascinating facts about a unique American institution.

Is the last filibuster in danger again after health-care defeat?

July 18, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

The collapse of Republican efforts to advance a revised health care bill has President Trump calling for the death of the last-remaining Senate filibuster. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

On This Day, Truman, Congress decide current line of presidential succession

July 18, 2017 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, 2017 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.

Podcast: Should the 17th Amendment be repealed?

July 13, 2017 By NCC Staff

David Schleicher of Yale University and Todd Zywicki of George Mason University discuss the text, history, and future of the contested amendment that established the direct election of U.S. senators.

Why does Congress usually take a month-long recess in August?

July 11, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

As pressure mounts on the Senate to pass a health-reform bill, Mitch McConnell has eliminated part of its annual August vacation. So what are the constitutional and legislative roots of this long-held tradition?

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