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 “Presidential,” reporter Lillian Cunningham returns with this series exploring the Constitution and the people who framed and reframed it — revolutionaries, abolitionists, suffragists, teetotalers, protesters, justices, presidents – in the ongoing struggle to form a more perfect union across a vast and diverse land.
Ourselves and our posterity
In the "Constitutional" finale, we address listener questions about the history--and future--of the nation's governing document.
The First Amendment
Why do First Amendment rights trump nearly every other right in America? Thank Jehovah's Witnesses.
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 question that captivated a justice appointed to the Supreme Court 100 years ago — Louis Brandeis.
The passage and then repeal of the 18th Amendment, banning alcohol in America, highlighted the pitfalls of trying to legislate against vice.
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
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 been so clear.