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Ep. 151: The Committee System show art Ep. 151: The Committee System

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Members of Congress legislate on a wide range of issues: education, energy, agricultural, space, finance, taxation, national defense, immigration, to name a few.  Can we reasonably expect members to be well-versed in the particulars in each of these issues as they pertain to upcoming or pending legislation?  Not likely.  Enter the committee systems.  Over 200 congressional committees and sub-committees exist to address these issues.  We are discussing the history of these committees and how they are used in today’s political climate.  We are honored to have...

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Ep. 150: Congress & The Constitution: The Leadership show art Ep. 150: Congress & The Constitution: The Leadership

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

There are 535 members of Congress: 435 in the House and 100 in the Senate.  Each member has their own priorities and agenda. With so many differing priorities, how does anything get done?  Enter party leadership.  Regular Constituting America viewers know the roles of a U. S. Representative and Senator, but how much do you know about the congressional leadership?  There’s a Speaker of the House, House and Senate Majority and Minority leaders, Majority and Minority Whips.  There’s a President Pro Tempore in the Senate.  What exactly do they do and how are they...

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Ep. 149 - History the U.S. Senate show art Ep. 149 - History the U.S. Senate

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

What do you really know about the US Senate?  You probably know there are 100 US Senators and they are elected every six years. And that there are two per state. But do you know why?  The Senate has equal representation among the states for a reason that dates back to the Great Compromise of 1787 and is generally more prestigious than the US House of Representatives.  We dive into each of these issues in today’s chat.  We are pleased to have Katherine Scott, Associate Historian in the US Senate Historical Office, join our all-star student panel to...

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Ep. 148 - History the U.S. House of Representatives show art Ep. 148 - History the U.S. House of Representatives

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

It’s March 1789.  You’ve been elected to serve your community as a member of Congress.  You arrive at Federal Hall in New York City to begin your service.  You are assigned a desk and…that’s it.  No office.  No support staff.  It’s a far cry from today where members have staff and offices in DC and in their districts.  We are continuing our discussion on Congress and the Constitution by discussing the history of the House of Representatives.  Who better to discuss this history than the Historian of the United States House of Representatives...

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Ep. 147 - Congress & The Constitution show art Ep. 147 - Congress & The Constitution

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

435 members from all 50 states.  Elected every two years.  Created by Article I of the United States Constitution.  Regular listeners of our podcast will know from these facts we are talking today about our U.S. House of Representatives.  What does Congress do?  How does it function?  How well do members of Congress know the Constitution? Today we are kicking off a new series in which we will be discussing everything related to Congress and the Constitution!  To kick off this series, we are excited to have 13-term Retired...

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Ep. 146 - The Tenth Amendment – Reserved To The States Or The People show art Ep. 146 - The Tenth Amendment – Reserved To The States Or The People

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Once again, the Founders are showing off their talent to address complex issues succinctly in the Bill of Rights with the Tenth Amendment.  At just 28 words, the 10th amendment has a profound impact on the side-by-side existence of federal law and state law.  Simply put, powers not delegated federally are reserved to the states.  Paraphrasing Madison assuaging the concerns of the Antifederalists in Federalist No. 45, the constitutional powers of the federal government are “few and defined” while the remaining powers to the states are “numerous and indefinite.”...

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Ep. 145 - The Ninth Amendment - Rights of People show art Ep. 145 - The Ninth Amendment - Rights of People

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

The Ninth Amendment is not an amendment you hear discussed too often nor is there significant caselaw regarding it.  However, that in no way diminishes the importance of it.  To put simply, the Ninth Amendment is a guarantee the Bill of Rights does not limit our rights to only those previously enumerated in the document.  How exactly does this affect each of us?  How was Madison appeasing both the Federalist and Anti-Federalists through the Ninth Amendment?  Is there a difference between an enumerated and unenumerated right?  Join our...

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Ep. 144 - The Eighth Amendment: Limits on Fines & Punishment show art Ep. 144 - The Eighth Amendment: Limits on Fines & Punishment

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

We’ve spoken before of the Founders’ penchant for brevity.  The Eighth Amendment takes that habit to a new level.  Just 16 words long, it still manages to codify three separate clauses related to limiting fines and punishment.  Just what are these three clauses?  What is the history behind the concerns regarding governmental power to punish that the Founders were alleviating and limiting?  Just how important is that “and” in the cruel and unusual clause?  To find out, join our weekly chat featuring Sam Gedge with the Institute for Justice and our student...

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Ep. 143 - The Seventh Amendment: Trial by Jury in Civil Cases show art Ep. 143 - The Seventh Amendment: Trial by Jury in Civil Cases

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

The Founding Fathers were fond of brevity in creating our constitution.  While few in words and somewhat overlooked compared to some of the other amendments, the 7th Amendment is long in impact.  To be succinct, the 7th Amendment guarantees civil cases can be heard and decided by a jury.  Why was this needed?  What concerns were the Founders alleviating?  And why does it mention a $20 minimum dispute?  Join returning guest Joerg Knipprath with Southwestern Law School and our brilliant student panel for this chat on the 7th Amendment.

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Ep. 142 - The Sixth Amendment: Right To A Speedy, Public Trial - And More! show art Ep. 142 - The Sixth Amendment: Right To A Speedy, Public Trial - And More!

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

If someone is arrested in the United States, they will soon get their day in court to determine guilt or innocence, right?  Imagine if that wasn’t always the case.  Imagine you are arrested and the state keeps you locked up for an unspecified amount of time before going to trial.  Sadly, this was reality before the Sixth Amendment.  What does it say exactly?  What are the six legal protections within the amendment?  What constitutes a fair and speedy trial?  Join this week’s chat featuring Robert Alt with the Buckeye Institute and our brilliant student...

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One might question why the 3rd Amendment was given such a lofty position behind 1st amendment protections and the right to keep and bear arms. It’s not often talked about and doesn’t drive the news cycle or inspire mass protesting.  So why did The Founders codify that we do not have to quarter soldiers in our homes?  What act of parliament was this amendment directly countering? And what role did the Boston Tea Party play to inspire such an amendment?  Join our special guest, Hans von Spakovsky with the Heritage Foundation, and our all-star lineup of student panelists for this insightful conversation into the Third Amendment.