June 27, 2013
By Ilya Shapiro In striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Supreme Court has restored a measure of constitutional order. Based on 40-year-old voting data that doesn't reflect current political conditions, this provision subjected a seemingly random assortment of states and localities to onerous burdens and unusual federal oversight. To be clear, neither minority voting rights nor the ability of the federal government to enforce those rights was at stake in Shelby County v. Holder . Both of those are secure.
June 25, 2013 |
FORMER PRESIDENT Bill Clinton will return to the National Constitution Center tomorrow. The first time Clinton set foot at the center was in 2000 when, as president, he led the Pledge of Allegiance at the building's groundbreaking ceremony. The upcoming visit will be more substantive. The event is the last of the four so-called "National Dialogues" organized by a group called the State Budget Crisis Task Force that will focus on federalism. That's the government system that gives states the independence - and burden - of managing big-ticket items such as public infrastructure, education, health care and public safety.
June 19, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's highest court on Monday unanimously rejected a challenge to a constitutional provision that requires judges to retire by the end of the year in which they turn 70. The state Supreme Court ruled on two lawsuits filed by judges who argued that the mandatory-retirement provision, part of a 1968 amendment, conflicted with an older section of the constitution that bars age discrimination. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas Saylor said, "Theoretically at least there is some possibility that a constitutional amendment might impinge on inherent, inalienable rights otherwise recognized in the constitution itself.
May 8, 2013 |
What were our Founders thinking when they gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 for the Constitutional Convention? According to Peter Sagal, who hosts PBS's consistently lively four-part series, Constitution USA (premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday on WHYY TV12), the distinguished delegates had both short- and long-term goals. "The Founders came to Philadelphia to fix the Articles of Confederation," Sagal says in the first segment, "A More Perfect Union. " "Also, to make sure that 200 years later, this city would enjoy a booming constitutionally themed tourist trade.
May 7, 2013 |
Jeffrey Rosen, a professor of law at George Washington University, legal-affairs editor for the New Republic, and a fellow at the Brookings Institute, has been named president and chief executive of the National Constitution Center, according to NCC officials. In making the announcement Monday, Jeb Bush, the center's chairman, praised Rosen as "a constitutional scholar, journalist, and an educator. " Rosen was an adviser during the planning of the center, which opened on the July Fourth weekend in 2003, and served as a visiting scholar throughout that summer.
April 23, 2013 |
CONGRATULATIONS to Alison Young , who won the fifth annual Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars on Sunday night at the Crystal Tea Room. Young, the vice president of External Affairs for the National Constitution Center, danced the foxtrot with Paul Samuelnas from the Studio on Take the Lead on Pine. Young was clad in floor-length pink spandex, covered in rhinetstones. She had no dance experience before. Q102 DJ Maxwell came in second with the waltz, while Fox29's Kacie McDonnell came in third with the tango.
March 21, 2013 |
The tumultuous events of 1968 - the year of assassinations, massacres in a deadly war, chaotic street protests, and college shutdowns across the United States; the year of Janis Joplin and 2001: A Space Odyssey , Aretha Franklin and Apollo 7 and 8 - will flood the National Constitution Center with music, video, helicopters, bean bag chairs, and Boomer memories in an exhibition running from June 14 to Sept. 2. The show, called The 1968 Exhibit , "illuminates a pivotal year in our history and shines a light" down to the present, Vince Stango, interim head of the center, told a news conference Tuesday.
March 20, 2013
By Gregory J. Sullivan The March 11 issue of the New Yorker contains a long profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by staff writer Jeffrey Toobin. The article is in many respects an embarrassing love letter from Toobin to the jurist. Nevertheless, in its muddled discussion of constitutional matters, the article ("Heavyweight: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg has moved the Supreme Court") shows how ideology in our basic law rots what federal appellate Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III has identified as "the most basic and honorable of all judicial traditions, that republican virtue of judicial restraint.
March 18, 2013 |
ALLENTOWN - After getting hammered in its final game of one season, a basketball team with no seniors quickly looks forward to the next. How quickly? "I wish we could play them again right now . . . I wanted to win a state championship this year. " The kid who spoke those words was Floyd Preito, a 6-1, 175-pound junior wing guard who, truthfully, was the only Constitution High General to turn in a respectable performance Saturday afternoon at Parkland High in a PIAA Class AA state quarterfinal.
March 17, 2013 |
Floyd Preito carried Constitution as far as he could, but a first-half deficit proved too much to overcome as the Generals lost to Holy Cross, 75-61, in a PIAA Class AA state boys' basketball quarterfinal Saturday at Parkland High School in Allentown. Preito scored 28 points and was the lone General in double digits. The junior guard took advantage of his foul shots, draining 9 of 11. Constitution (18-10) couldn't recover after a first half in which it trailed Holy Cross (26-5)