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The Constitution This Week: Egypt, evolution, and more

April 15, 2012 by Holly Munson


News headlines, politicians, and hot-button issues come and go, but one 225-year-old document continues to emerge in our conversations about our nation’s most important questions and challenges: the Constitution. The Constitution is a big buzzword for Election 2012, and more than ever, citizens, pundits, and politicians are turning to the Constitution for answers–and sometimes ammunition, as they try to prove the Constitution is on their side.

Here’s a brief look at the top constitutional news stories and commentaries from this week.

The Constitution and... Egypt

On Tuesday, an Egyptian administrative court suspended a 100-member constitution-drafting panel that was selected by the predominantly Islamist parliament. This means that Egypt will likely not have a new constitution when a new president is elected in June.

The New York Times summarized the significance of the ruling:
Without revisions to the current Constitution, the winner of the presidential election scheduled for next month will technically assume the same powers that Mr. Mubarak wielded. As a result, whoever wins the presidential contest—and contenders include a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Mr. Mubarak’s former spy chief—may have unparalleled power to define the terms of the new charter and, thus, Egypt’s future.

The Constitution and... Evolution

Tennessee's governor announced this week he will allow a proposed bill to become law, allowing teachers to criticize evolution and other scientific theories in the classroom.

It was in Tennessee that the legal battle over evolution came to a head in 1925, when teacher John Scopes was convicted for teaching evolution in a biology class, which was prohibited by state statute. The Scopes trial, which became known as the "monkey trial," raised questions of how to balance education and freedom of speech.

But wait, there's more

Check out the curated links to news and commentary on constitutional issues around the web at or on the sidebar of Constitution Daily. (Note: Links are not endorsements.)

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Holly Munson is the Programs Coordinator for Public Engagement at the National Constitution Center.

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