Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Congress

How Speaker of the House evolved into a critical constitutional role

April 11, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

Paul Ryan’s House retirement means that a new person will be Speaker of the House of Representatives next January and become one of the most important elected officials in Washington.

What would the Senate look like today without the 17th Amendment?

April 8, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

It’s the 105th anniversary of the 17th Amendment, leading us to consider what today’s U.S. Senate would look like if its members weren’t directly elected by voters.

Is Aaron Burr really the father of the filibuster?

April 5, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

How did the Senate get the filibuster? The unique institution may have been created thanks to some comments made by Aaron Burr.

Gibbons v. Ogden: Defining Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause

March 2, 2018 By NCC Staff

On March 2, 1824, the Supreme Court ruled in Gibbons v. Ogden, holding that Congress may regulate interstate commerce.

An early citizenship controversy in the U.S. Senate

February 28, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

On February 28, 1794, future Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin was denied his elected U.S. Senate seat after a group of Federalists claimed he didn’t meet a constitutional citizenship requirement for office.

Five “unusual” amendments that never made it into the Constitution

February 23, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

If some folks had their way, a three-person tribunal, and not the President, would provide leadership of the “United States of Earth,” in a nation where divorce is illegal.

Happy birthday, 15th and 16th Amendments

February 3, 2018 By NCC Staff

Today we celebrate a constitutional ratification twofer: the 15th Amendment (ratified February 3, 1870) and the 16th Amendment (ratified February 3, 1913). Here’s what you need to know.

What happens if the federal government shuts down?

January 18, 2018 By NCC Staff

Unless Congress passes a temporary funding bill by late Friday night, many federal government services will stop over the weekend. So what is exactly involved in a federal government shutdown?

What’s reconciliation and how does it affect the tax debate?

December 18, 2017 By NCC Staff

Early this week, the House and Senate will likely vote on a huge overhaul to the tax system. So what is the obscure rule that will allow a simple majority of Senators bypass a filibuster and approve the proposed tax changes?

When Congress last used its powers to declare war

December 8, 2017 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.

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