Setting some limits on gun rights

Whatever awaits the Obama administration’s planned campaign to reduce gun violence across America, Second Amendment advocates are sure to bring lawsuits to challenge virtually anything that emerged from Congress, or from direct White House orders. The Supreme Court could be a major player in this, perhaps as early as its next term starting in October. […]

Constitution Hall Pass: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw himself as a servant of humanity and wanted his life to be remembered as a life of service to others. Today marks Dr. King’s birthday on January 15, 1929. In this episode of the Constitution Hall Pass, we look at Dr. King’s legacy of service and explore how his […]

When presidential inaugurations go very, very wrong

As Constitution Daily counts down to Inauguration Day,  we look back at three presidential ceremonies from the 1800s that ended very badly. Usually when historians recount the pomp and circumstances of swearing in a new president, it’s the stirring speeches, the dramatic balls, and the swelling parades that are recounted. But like any large public […]

Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie far from 2016 presidential shoo-ins

A recent poll from Public Policy Polling shows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as leading candidates for the 2016 presidential race. But if polling trends since the 1970s hold true, their nominations are far from settled. In the poll released last Wednesday, Clinton would defeat Christie with 44 percent […]

Is middle finger protected by the Constitution?

A New York man, angry about a speed trap, extended his middle finger to the police officer to express his displeasure, and was subsequently arrested. So how is the man protected by the Constitution? The police officer, who apparently has never visited a playground, or watched television, or had any human interaction, said that he […]

How Alexander Hamilton would view the debt ceiling

Alexander Hamilton founded the modern American economy, and there’s been much speculation about how the first treasury secretary would feel about the current debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff issues. In short, Hamilton wouldn’t probably approve of a debt-ceiling concept, and he would be more than unhappy about any actions that would lower the global […]

How presidents use Bibles at inaugurations

President Barack Obama will use two Bibles on Inauguration Day, which isn’t actually a break from the many traditions associated with the public ceremony. The two Bibles are both historic: one belonged to President Abraham Lincoln and the other to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He will be the fourth known president to use a […]

Constitution Check: Is the “war on terrorism” coming to an end?

Lyle Denniston looks at the legalities of officially ending “armed conflict” in the war on terrorism, in the wake of rulings made after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The statement at issue: “The authorization that was passed in 2001 was basically authorization for the military to engage in armed conflict…. Once that authorization at some point […]

White House repeats hazy position on legal marijuana use

The Obama administration is remaining noncommittal on legal marijuana in Colorado and Washington state. But it seems to be sending mixed signals with two recent statements. The two states legalized recreational marijuana use, under controlled circumstances, in November voter referendums, and the governors of Colorado and Washington have signed the acts into law. President Barack […]

Checkers, the dog who helped save Richard Nixon’s career

On the 100th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s birth, we look back at the long-forgotten four-legged friend who helped save the future president’s political career in 1952. Indeed, without Checkers the dog, American history could be missing the famous Kennedy-Nixon debate, the 1968 presidential race, the trips to China and Russia, and Watergate. Of course, President […]