In this special bonus episode, Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen speaks with “the dean of the Supreme Court press corps,” the legendary journalist Lyle Denniston, who is retiring next month.
Denniston has covered the Supreme Court since 1958. He began working with the Constitution Center in 2011 as a constitutional literacy adviser and contributor to Constitution Daily; he now serves as Supreme Court correspondent. Although Denniston will conclude his regular duties at the end of July, he will continue to write for Constitution Daily on occasion.
In addition to inquiries from Rosen, Denniston answered questions submitted by We the People listeners, Constitution Center members, and general well-wishers.
From the conversation, Denniston's concluding thoughts:
I am in almost total dismay about our politics as such. As a citizen, not as a journalist, I am deeply troubled about what has happened in our political culture.But what I think sustains me, and has sustained me, over those six decades of watching the Court up close is the degree to which the Supreme Court as an institution has demonstrated its fidelity to the Constitution, and believing as I do in the absolute genius of the Constitution itself - not only the ancient Constitution but the Constitution as it has been amended since the Founding - and the capacity of the Court to stay within that document and within the spirit of that document, and to treat it not only with the reverence to which it is absolutely entitled but also as a working mechanism of government, and to make the parts of our government work in a way that is, I believe, and has been absolutely faithful to the document itself and to the Founding spirit.If it ever happens in my time or beyond me that the Court itself forfeits its fidelity to the Constitution, I’m afraid that our American polity will be in very deep peril.
We want to know what you think of the podcast! Email us at [email protected].
Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate.
We the People is a member of Slate’s Panoply network. Check out the full roster of podcasts at Panoply.fm.
Despite our congressional charter, the National Constitution Center is a private nonprofit; we receive little government support, and we rely on the generosity of people around the country who are inspired by our nonpartisan mission of constitutional debate and education. Please consider becoming a member to support our work, including this podcast. Visit constitutioncenter.org to learn more.
Recent Stories on Constitution Daily