Lyle Denniston's posts.

Constitution Check: Do profit-making corporations have religious rights?

Lyle Denniston looks at one company’s claim it has religious rights that exempt it from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for free birth-control services. The statements at issue: “This Court has not previously addressed [religious freedom] or free exercise claims brought by closely held for-profit corporations and their controlling shareholders alleging that the mandatory provision […]

Is America being held in ‘constitutional bondage’?

Lyle Denniston comments on a Georgetown professor’s claim that the Constitution itself is a big reason that the American system of government can be seen as dysfunctional. The statements at issue: “Observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken.  But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience […]

The Constitution in 2013: Gains or losses on rights?

The Supreme Court–the place in America where the Constitution most often gets new meaning–moves into 2013 after a momentous year of re-examining the core constitutional structure of the U.S. government. As the New Year unfolds, the court switches its center of attention from constitutional architecture to constitutional rights. Many other public actors, of course, contribute […]

Constitution Check: Who has the power to fill the president’s cabinet seats?

Lyle Denniston looks at the controversy over two Cabinet nominations by President Barack Obama, and how it further erodes the constitutional respectability of the nomination and confirmation process. The statement at issue: “With Chuck Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, emerging as a front-runner to be President Obama’s next secretary of defense, critics are taking […]

Constitution Check: Is the Supreme Court partly to blame for Newtown?

Lyle Denniston looks at how the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment leaveslegislators entirely free to write new regulations against gun possession in sensitive public places. The statements at issue: “The gun lobby, timid politicians and the Supreme Court continue to aid and abet rampant gun violence that is nothing less than domestic terrorism, […]