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 […]

Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton: The bipartisan odd couple

They weren’t exactly Felix and Oscar from Neil Simon’s play The Odd Couple, but Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton became confidants in the early 1990s in a remarkable presidential friendship. When President Nixon died in 1994 at the age of 81, after a brief illness, the current president, Clinton, extended full state honors to Nixon […]

Does poll comparing Congress to STDs go too far?

A left-leaning pollster is making headlines by comparing Congress to sexually transmitted diseases, root canals, and Brussels sprouts in its latest survey. The firm Public Policy Polling also made headlines in the 2012 election when it came in as the eighth-most accurate pollster, among 28 polling firms, when the presidential election was settled between Barack […]

Live stream: From Emancipation to the Great Migration @ WNYC

In partnership with The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR, the National Constitution Center presents this compelling conversation to honor the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Watch the live stream here (beginning at 7 p.m. EST). Join Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson, scholar Dr. Khalil Muhammad, and historians Dr. Eric Foner and Dr. Jim […]