Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Remembering William Seward’s Alaska ‘folly’

October 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

In today’s popular culture, William Seward is best known for his association with Abraham Lincoln. But his name is also forever linked to a decision back in 1867 that brought Alaska into the fold as a United States territory, at a bargain price.

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Justice Byron White: A retrospective

October 16, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

On October 16, 1962, Justice Byron R. White joined the Supreme Court as one of two appointments made by President John F. Kennedy. In 2012, Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston wrote a retrospective about White's Supreme Court career, which we have reprinted here.

10 fascinating facts on the White House’s anniversary

October 13, 2019 By NCC Staff

Today marks the anniversary of an American icon: the White House. Here's a look back at its remarkable history.

D.C. Circuit Upholds Congressional Subpoena to Trump Accounting Firm

October 11, 2019 By Robert Black

A Friday morning ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit could prove a watershed moment in the ongoing struggle between the White House and the House of Representatives.

Ramos v. Louisiana: Does the 14th Amendment Require Unanimous Jury Verdicts?

October 9, 2019 By Robert Black

When we think about trial by jury in criminal cases, we all probably envision a 12-member jury that must reach a unanimous verdict to convict. But under a pair of Supreme Court cases from half a century ago, that is not actually a constitutional requirement.

Kahler v. Kansas: Can States Abolish the Insanity Defense?

October 8, 2019 By Robert Black

On Monday, the first day of the new Supreme Court term, the Court heard argument in Kahler v. Kansas, a case that could generate an entirely new line of constitutional jurisprudence. The case revolves around the “insanity defense,” an ancient doctrine under which people who committed crimes because of their severe mental illness would not be held legally culpable.

Supreme Court hears two major cases today on Title VII and discrimination

October 8, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two major cases about Title VII and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Franklin Pierce’s murky legacy as President

October 8, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1869, former President Franklin Pierce passed away in New Hampshire. Pierce was regarded as an ethical hard worker, but he struggled as a national leader when he openly advocated for pro-slavery states as a Northerner in the 1850s.

Why the Supreme Court starts on the first Monday in October

October 7, 2019 By NCC Staff

Each year, the Supreme Court starts its new term on the first Monday of the month of October, an annual event that goes back to 1917. Why is that day so special and when did the Justices start their annual sessions before then?

On this day: “No taxation without representation!”

October 7, 2019 By NCC Staff

The Stamp Act Congress met on this day in New York in 1765, a meeting that led nine Colonies to declare the English Crown had no right to tax Americans who lacked representation in British Parliament.

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