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Ep. 130 - Article III - The Size of the Supreme Court show art Ep. 130 - Article III - The Size of the Supreme Court

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

The Constitution creates the federal judiciary in Article III, but did you know it does not actually give a specific number of Supreme Court Justices we are to have?  Throughout our country’s history, we have fluctuated between 5-10 Justices, but have held steady at nine since 1869. The last few years have seen a renewed interest in “court-packing,” that is, expanding the number of Justices to change the ideological balance of the court.  Today we welcome new student panelist and “We The People Contest” winner Lindsey Larkin.  Join Lindsey, Tova, Cathy and our special...

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Ep. 129 - Article III - The Judicial Branch show art Ep. 129 - Article III - The Judicial Branch

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Did you know Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which creates the federal judiciary, has its roots in the Declaration of Independence?  That’s right.  Among the charges Thomas Jefferson cited for independence, he writes, “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”  The Founding Fathers directly addressed this in Article 3, Section I, when they granted the judiciary to have lifetime appointments and their salaries could not be cut by Congress.  Join our special guest, Judge Kenton...

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Ep. 128 - Article II - Executive Orders show art Ep. 128 - Article II - Executive Orders

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by one in 1863.  One created the precursor to the Department of Homeland Security in October 2001. George Washington issued 8 of them, including one establishing our Thanksgiving Holiday.  President Harrison issued none, while President Franklin Roosevelt issued 3,721 (by some count).  Today we are discussing Executive Orders.  What are they?  How are they used?  How does the Constitution grant this immense power to the president and what are the mechanisms we have to modify or revoke them?  Join our special guest,...

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Ep. 127 - Article II - The Executive Branch - We Are Counting Down To Constitution Day! show art Ep. 127 - Article II - The Executive Branch - We Are Counting Down To Constitution Day!

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Regular followers of Constituting America know this by heart: Article I of our Constitution creates Congress which creates law.  Article II creates the Executive Branch which enforces law.  Article III creates the Judicial Branch which interprets law. Article II is what we are discussing today.  While we know the President is the head of the executive branch, that position alone cannot enforce all law.  So how does any law passed by Congress actually get enforced? There are 15 Cabinet-level departments in the Executive Branch whose job is to enforce...

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Ep. 126 - Article 1 - How A Bill Becomes A Law show art Ep. 126 - Article 1 - How A Bill Becomes A Law

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Constituting America viewers of a certain generation will undoubtedly remember a cartoon from Schoolhouse Rock called “I’m Just A Bill” that explained the legislative process in how a bill becomes law.  James Madison wanted the process of legislating to be intentionally difficult through both houses to prevent what he called in Federalist 62 as “improper acts of legislation.”  We all know Congress is made up of two bodies: the House and Senate.  But what is the process of how a bill winds its way through the House and Senate and ultimately lands on the President’s...

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Ep. 125 - Article 1 - The Legislative Branch show art Ep. 125 - Article 1 - The Legislative Branch

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

This is worth pondering. We know the very first article in the U.S. Constitution creates Congress and gives it power at the same time.  For lawmaking authority to be delegated to Congress, that means that power already existed but wasn’t delegated, right?  Where did that power reside? The answer to that question is found in the first 3 words in the Preamble, “We The People.”  If the legislative branch writes law, the executive branch enforces law and the judiciary adjudicates and interprets law, the next logical question must be what are laws?  How are they enforced...

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Ep. 124 - Constitutional Convention & the Preamble show art Ep. 124 - Constitutional Convention & the Preamble

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Fifty-five men arguing over 88 days.  That’s what it took at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to draft a preamble and the seven articles that make up our Constitution.  With the Articles of Confederation as a starting point, what were the challenges facing the delegates?  How were compromises reached balancing state vs. federal power?  What structural changes to the Articles of Confederation were made?  All of these questions and many many more are answered in this exciting chat with our student panel, Janine Turner and Professor Gordon Lloyd of Pepperdine...

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Ep. 122 - Our Special Flag Day Episode with Ep. 122 - Our Special Flag Day Episode with "Betsy Ross" Herself!

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

It has 13 stars on a blue background and 13 stripes of alternating red and white. Our country’s first flag was a rallying symbol during the American Revolution. But what do you know about the woman who made the flag, Betsy Ross? A devout Quaker, she was a young widow when her late husband’s uncle, Declaration of Independence signer George Ross, tasked her with making the flag. On National Flag Day, Constituting America proudly presents a conversation with Betsy Ross, skillfully played by Kim Hanley with the American Historical Theater. Join our panel for this one-of-a-kind living history...

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Ep. 123 - What Is the Semiquincentennial? Our Independence Day Episode! show art Ep. 123 - What Is the Semiquincentennial? Our Independence Day Episode!

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

In four years we will celebrate the biggest birthday our country has ever seen.  In fact, planning for this birthday celebration began in 2016!  That year, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4875, legislation which formally created the United States Semiquincentennial Commission to plan the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.  Constituting America co-founder Cathy Gillespie is proud to be 1 of the 16 private citizen members of the commission! Join our student panel as we welcome Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the America 250...

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Ep. 121 — How Republics Elect Heads of Government show art Ep. 121 — How Republics Elect Heads of Government

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

During election cycles Americans often debate the value of the Electoral College.  Not every citizen understands why the Founders created it, how it works today, and why it is so important to the stability of our Nation.  Mr. Maibach traces its origin to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787.  The Electoral College was a compromise between the 9 small states and the 4 most populous states when they met in Philadelphia.  The Electoral College is designed so that citizens of each state vote for their choice for President, and the aggregation...

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It has 13 stars on a blue background and 13 stripes of alternating red and white. Our country’s first flag was a rallying symbol during the American Revolution. But what do you know about the woman who made the flag, Betsy Ross? A devout Quaker, she was a young widow when her late husband’s uncle, Declaration of Independence signer George Ross, tasked her with making the flag. On National Flag Day, Constituting America proudly presents a conversation with Betsy Ross, skillfully played by Kim Hanley with the American Historical Theater. Join our panel for this one-of-a-kind living history discussion!