Lyle Denniston's posts.

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 […]

Constitution Check: Where does the U.S. stand now on secession?

Lyle Denniston looks at the White House’s response to secession petitions, and how the idea extends beyond America’s shores. The statements at issue: “Free and open debate is what makes this country work…But as much as we value healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart….Our Founding Fathers enshrined in the Constitution the […]

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 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 […]

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 […]