Constitution Check: Is the U.S. House of Representatives unrepresentative?

Lyle Denniston looks at the complicated issue of gerrymandering, and what constitutional issues lie ahead for the process of drawing up congressional districts to favor a political party. The statement at issue: “As a new Congress convenes, it has become an unquestioned truth among Republicans that their party has as much of a mandate as […]

Five presidential cabinet nominations that were rejected

President Barack Obama faces a tough nomination process for his proposed defense secretary, Chuck Hagel. But if the past is any indicator, a Senate rejection would be historic in many ways. Hagel faces vocal opposition from senators from both political parties. However, it’s rare for the Senate to actually reject a cabinet nominee in a […]

Michelle Obama: Future presidential candidate?

Actor Samuel L. Jackson recently came out as a supporter of Michelle Obama as a presidential candidate. While the first lady has expressed no interest in elected office, the idea has some fascinating angles. Jackson, who supports liberal causes, told Newsweek in December that Obama was “superwoman” and could hold any office she wants. Another […]

How John Boehner got his job (again)

On Thursday, Representative John Boehner of Ohio was once again chosen as speaker of the House of Representatives. So how exactly did that happen? No, we’re not talking about the politics behind Boehner’s narrow victory–although that’s certainly worth talking about–but the process. Boehner’s re-election by his constituents didn’t guarantee he would maintain the top post […]

House may read “P.C. version” of Constitution again

Buried in the orders of business for the 113th Congress is another potential controversial reading of an edited version of the Constitution on the House floor. House Resolution 5 says that Speaker John Boehner “may recognize a Member for the Reading of the Constitution on any legislative day through January 15, 2013.” When this first […]

Utah’s very interesting path to statehood

On this day in 1896, Utah became the 45th state, after numerous attempts over nearly 50 years to achieve statehood. Between 1847 and 1868, about 60,000 Mormon emigrants traveled across the country, most on foot in handcart companies. When the initial company arrived in what is now the Salt Lake Valley, their leader, Brigham Young, […]

Chris Christie hits nerve with anti-Congress rant

New Jersey’s outspoken governor, Chris Christie, shocked even long-time followers with his rant against Congress and House Speaker John Boehner. Did the presumptive presidential candidate put his foot in his mouth, or just say what a lot of Americans are thinking? Christie and other political leaders in New York and New Jersey went ballistic on […]