July 27, 2016
By David Gans Our campaign-finance system is badly broken and is deforming our democracy. The problem is the Supreme Court, not the Constitution. In a series of 5-4 rulings, Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues have rewritten the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech, insisting that money is speech, that corporations are an essential part of "We the People," and that the government's only legitimate interest in limiting election spending and giving is to prevent bribery.
July 2, 2016
By Allen C. Guelzo It was one of the great shocks of my life, and it came early. In fifth-grade government class. Though I can't remember much else that we learned then, a detail in Article 1, Section 2, of the Constitution reached out and grabbed me like the hound of the Baskervilles: "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the...
June 15, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - Four lawyers, including the top aide to the Pennsylvania attorney general, told a state Senate panel Monday that a bill to let child sex-abuse victims sue for decades-old attacks would violate the state's constitution and ultimately fail if challenged in the courts. "However righteous the policy goals behind [the bill], the General Assembly in its zeal cannot overrule a state constitutional right," said Bruce L. Castor Jr., the former Montgomery County prosecutor who was appointed solicitor general this year by Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane.
May 25, 2016 |
The two aging contracts are unremarkable on first glance, devoid of flourishes and filled with the boilerplate restrictions that chained all baseball players to their teams in the Reserve Clause era. It isn't until the dates and signatures are evident that it becomes clear why these documents - two thin sheets of paper whose historical heft belies their fragility - have been appraised at $36 million. They are the groundbreaking contracts that Jackie Robinson signed when he shattered baseball's long-entrenched color barrier and changed American society forever.
May 5, 2016 |
The homeless Civil War Museum of Philadelphia, steward of what scholars regard as one of the finest collections of Civil War materials anywhere but possessing no place to display them, reached an agreement Monday to transfer ownership of its roughly 3,000 artifacts to the Gettysburg Foundation, the private, nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. At the same time, the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall has agreed to mount a permanent exhibition exploring the constitutional impact of the Civil War, using artifacts drawn from what is now the foundation's Gettysburg collection.
April 27, 2016 |
Should Hillary Clinton all but clinch the Democratic nomination when the polls close Tuesday, she will not then bend over backwards, or even moderately it seems, by adopting any of her opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders' proposals to win over his base, she said Monday. "Let's look at where we are right now. . . . I am winning," Clinton told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and a crowd of about 200 people gathered for a town hall at the National Constitution Center. "And I am winning because of what I stand for. " Sanders, in his own town hall before the same crowd but a different host, Chris Hayes, said Clinton would have to reconsider that stance if she is to win over those who have emphatically backed him as the anti-establishment candidate.
April 18, 2016
James Traub is author of "John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit" (Basic Books) On March 3, 1820, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Secretary of War John Calhoun walked down Pennsylvania Avenue after a cabinet meeting devoted to Missouri's application to be admitted to the Union as a slave state - a question that had begun to divide the country. Adams had insisted that the words of the Declaration of Independence - "all men are created equal" - should be construed to prohibit slavery.
April 14, 2016 |
A New Jersey judge said Tuesday that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz can appear on the New Jersey primary ballot, deciding against challengers who argued that the Canada-born Texas senator was not a "natural-born citizen. " The administrative law judge, Jeff Masin, said that arguments that a person born in another country could not be a natural-born citizen were "not facetious," and that the subject would "never be entirely free of doubt" without a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. But "the more persuasive legal analysis is that such a child, born of a citizen-father, citizen-mother, or both, is indeed a 'natural-born citizen' within the contemplation of the Constitution," he said in a 27-page decision.
April 6, 2016
By Travis Weber Much effort on both sides of the aisle has gone into determining the ideological leanings of Judge Merrick Garland and how he would rule on the hot-button issues of the day. However, some GOP senators running for reelection are hearing far more from those opposed to Garland than from those supporting him. Why? There is an increasing "intensity gap" among voters on which president, the current one or his successor, should get to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia's passing.
February 27, 2016 |
It took less than 27 minutes for Donald Trump's name to be spoken aloud during a program on the history of the presidential primary process Thursday afternoon at the National Constitution Center. "In some ways, Donald Trump is talked about as the unfiltered candidate, the one who doesn't think about what he says before he says it, who doesn't rely on the consultants to craft every remark," said presidential historian David Greenberg, a professor of history, journalism, and media studies at Rutgers University.