Constitution Check: Can one word make constitutional history?

Lyle Denniston looks at President Barack Obama’s historic discussion of gay rights in his inaugural address, and its constitutional significance. The statement at issue: “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still, just as it guided […]

27th Amendment gets publicity in budget battle

One of the least known constitutional amendments is getting a lot of publicity as a wild card in the ongoing budget battle in Washington. The 27th Amendment is the most recent amendment, and there are many people who probably don’t remember what it stands for: congressional pay raises. “No law, varying the compensation for the […]

Full transcript: President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address

Here is the full text of President Obama’s second inaugural address, given on January 21, 2013, as prepared for delivery, as released by the White House. Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to […]

Inauguration speech talks about civic engagement, Founding Fathers

President Barack Obama spoke about the importance of the ideals of the Founding Fathers and the need for civic engagement during his inauguration speech on Monday. Presidential advisers had said before the speech that President Obama would address specific policy issues in his State of the Union address, which is scheduled for February 12. However, […]

How Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday became a holiday

The fight to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday took 32 years, a lot of campaigning, and guest appearances including Stevie Wonder, Ted Kennedy, and the National Football League. Officially, Dr. King’s birthday was approved as a federal holiday in 1983. By 2000, all 50 states recognized the King birthday as a […]

Great inaugural addresses: John F. Kennedy

Constitution Daily looks back at some of the most noteworthy presidential inauguration speeches. John F. Kennedy’s speech in 1961 was one of the shortest but most powerful addresses made by a president. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon by a narrow margin and became America’s youngest elected president. He developed his speech with writer Ted Sorenson and […]

Can your boss fire you for expressing your opinion?

Is a human resources official, who voiced opinions about gays that contradict her employer’s views, protected from being fired by the First Amendment? That’s the issue that a circuit court had to decide in December after Crystal Dixon wrote a letter to the op-ed section of the Toledo Free Press.   At the time, Dixon […]

Doubting a little of one’s infallibility: The real miracle at Philadelphia

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a series on civility in public discourse – a joint project of ConSource and the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Daily. In the first post in this series, Webb discussed the importance of civic friendship in setting the tone to the deliberations of the delegates to the Philadelphia […]