Constitutional

18 EpisodesProduced by The Washington Post

With the writing of the Constitution in 1787, the framers set out a young nation’s highest ideals. And ever since, we’ve been fighting over it — what is in it and what was left out. At the heart of these arguments is the story of America.As a follow-up to the popular Washington Post podcast “Preside… read more

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Ourselves and our posterity

February 12th, 2018

56:04

In the "Constitutional" finale, we address listener questions about the history--and future--of the nation's governing document.

The First Amendment

January 29th, 2018

53:31

Why do First Amendment rights trump nearly every other right in America? Thank Jehovah's Witnesses.

Privacy

January 15th, 2018

46:40

How should the Constitution's privacy protections be translated for a new era? This is a question before the Supreme Court today, but it was also a …

Prohibition

January 1st, 2018

54:38

The passage and then repeal of the 18th Amendment, banning alcohol in America, highlighted the pitfalls of trying to legislate against vice.

Taxes

December 18th, 2017

43:41

Congress today faces the same question it faced a century ago when creating the modern tax system: What kind of society should America be?

The common defense

December 4th, 2017

50:57

One intention the framers had when creating the U.S. Constitution was to “provide for the common defense.” But who shoulders that duty has not always …

War

November 20th, 2017

42:44

What was the original point of the Second Amendment? We examine its colonial and revolutionary roots—plus its quiet companion, the Third …

Love

November 6th, 2017

40:08

The words "marriage" and "love" appear nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. Yet 50 years ago, the Supreme Court issued a decision that would embed those …

Fair punishment

October 23rd, 2017

52:28

"There is so much feeling of racial injustice around the issue of punishment. And you have to understand that those feelings have a history -- and that history is Parchman Farm."

Fair trials

October 9th, 2017

47:59

In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that states must offer a defense attorney to all poor people accused of crimes. The decision …

Congress and citizens

September 25th, 2017

40:20

Is it a feature or a bug of the amendment process that an idea of James Madison's, more than 200 years ago, could be recently resurrected and etched …

Senate and states

September 11th, 2017

46:47

When the United States changed its process for electing senators, did that lead to a decline in state power? Or did it instead bring us closer to a "more perfect union"?

Gender

August 28th, 2017

50:03

From the American Revolution through today, women have been leading a long-burning rebellion to gain rights not originally guaranteed under the …

Race

August 21st, 2017

53:00

As powerful as it was to change the Constitution after the Civil War, and enshrine racial equality into our governing document, that wasn’t enough to …

Nationality

August 14th, 2017

48:46

What makes someone American? A landmark Supreme Court case in 1898, involving a child born in San Francisco to Chinese immigrant parents, would help …

Ancestry

August 7th, 2017

42:07

This "we the people" episode explores indigenous rights. In 1879, a case involving Chief Standing Bear came before a Nebraska courtroom and demanded …

Framed

July 24th, 2017

1:04:37

In the premier episode of “Constitutional,” we go back in time to that hot Philadelphia summer in 1787 when a group of revolutionary Americans …

Introducing 'Constitutional'

June 29th, 2017

4:50

Preview The Washington Post's newest podcast, a narrative series about the revolutionary figures who shaped America's story. Subscribe now to get the …

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