300 episodes

A weekly show of constitutional debate hosted by National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen where listeners can hear the best arguments on all sides of the constitutional issues at the center of American life.

We the People National Constitution Center

    • News Commentary
    • 4.6, 687 Ratings

A weekly show of constitutional debate hosted by National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen where listeners can hear the best arguments on all sides of the constitutional issues at the center of American life.

    American Elections During Crisis

    American Elections During Crisis

    As the coronavirus crisis presents major challenges for voting this November, today’s episode looks backs at past elections during major crises in American history. How were they handled, what were their outcomes, and what are the lessons learned for election 2020? Kim Wehle, CBS News commentator and professor at the University of Baltimore Law School, and historian Jonathan White of Christopher Newport University explore key elections such as the Election of 1864 carried out in the throes of the Civil War, midterms conducted in the midst of the 1918 flu pandemic, and landmark presidential elections during World Wars I and II. They also consider how absentee voting and vote-by-mail has evolved over time, how voter fraud has been perceived throughout American history, and whether it presents a challenge for the upcoming election. President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen hosts.
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.

    • 54 min
    Portland, Protests and Presidential Power

    Portland, Protests and Presidential Power

    Portland has seen more than 60 consecutive days of protests since the killing of George Floyd. The protests escalated when federal forces were deployed in Portland to protect its federal courthouse, angering protestors and local officials who said they did not ask for the federal deployment. On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that federal officials will soon begin withdrawing from the city, although they remained as of Thursday morning. On today’s episode, we’ll discuss the rapidly evolving situation in Portland—exploring the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights of protestors; the president’s power to deploy federal forces in the states to protect federal property, and the limits on that power; and more. Host Jeffrey Rosen was joined by John Inazu, an expert on the First Amendment right of assembly, and Bobby Chesney, an expert on the president’s power to deploy federal forces.
    Questions or comments about the podcast? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.

    • 52 min
    The Future of Church and State at SCOTUS

    The Future of Church and State at SCOTUS

    In the term that just wrapped up, the Supreme Court decided several key cases weighing the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion in relation to workers’ rights and antidiscrimination concerns, the separation of church and state, and more. This week’s episode examines those cases including:


    Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue holding that Montana can’t deny tuition assistance to parents who send their children to religious-affiliated private schools


    Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru holding that the plaintiffs, teachers at religious schools, couldn’t sue for employment discrimination because, under the “ministerial exception,” their schools can make decisions about teaching without government interference


    Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania: holding that religious employers don’t have to provide health insurance for contraceptive coverage if doing so violates their beliefs


    Host Jeffrey Rosen is joined by constitutional law scholars Leah Litman and Michael McConnell.

    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.

    • 58 min
    State Attorneys General Keith Ellison and Dave Yost

    State Attorneys General Keith Ellison and Dave Yost

    Last week, host Jeffrey Rosen was joined by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost for a bipartisan discussion about the role of state attorneys general in addressing policing reform, protests, and other constitutional challenges facing their states today.
    This conversation was a hosted as an online America’s Town Hall program. Hear more programs on our companion podcast Live at the National Constitution Center https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-at-americas-town-hall/id1037423300 or register for an upcoming program—to watch live via Zoom and ask speakers questions in the Q&A—at https://constitutioncenter.org/townhall. You can also watch videos of archived programs on the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution Media Library https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/media-library.
    This program is presented in partnership with the Center for Excellence in Governance at the National Association of Attorneys General.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Has the Roberts Court Arrived?

    Has the Roberts Court Arrived?

    The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term recently ended with a series of blockbuster opinions involving presidential subpoenas, religious liberty, abortion, the Electoral College and more. Supreme Court experts Kate Shaw of Cardozo Law School and Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute join host Jeffrey Rosen to recap those opinions and more. They also weigh in on Chief Justice Roberts’ efforts to put the institutional legitimacy of the Court front and center in this historic term.
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

    “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

    In 1852, the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, New York, invited Frederick Douglass to give a July Fourth speech. Douglass opted to speak on July 5 instead, and, addressing an audience of about 600, he delivered one of his most iconic speeches that would become known by the name “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” This episode explores Douglass’ oration on racial injustice and the broken promises of equality and liberty laid out in the Declaration of Independence. David Blight, Pulitzer Prize-winning Douglass biographer, and Lucas Morel, an expert on Douglass and African American history and politics, join host Jeffrey Rosen. They discuss the context and content of the speech, which Blight calls “the rhetorical masterpiece of abolition.” They also explore Douglass’ views of the Declaration of Independence—including that the principles expressed in the Declaration are eternal, but America does not live up to them in practice—as well as the Constitution. Finally, they reflect on what Douglass can teach us about the challenges America faces today, including the ongoing fight for racial justice and efforts to remove monuments around the country.
    The full text of the speech is available here https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
687 Ratings

687 Ratings

Constitutionally Curious ,

THIS is what we need

Thank you for digging deep into such important issues. I’m curious and able to follow a complex line of legal reasoning, but I’m not trained in law to reason along legal lines!

Jeffrey, your questions guide conversations and debates in ways which illuminate and inform - and don’t inflame. This is what we need. Thank you 👍

vuwere ,

Constitutional

Never learned so much as to applying and application constitutional law 👍🏼

Vallaerius ,

The most entertaining way to engage and learn about the constitution

Rosen and the WTP team have constantly produced high quality discussions on a variety of topics related to the constitution. From debate over hot legal topics at stake in American Courts and current events to constitutional history, WTP rarely fails to deliver an informative and provoking conversation.

I know I can find a lot of analysis on court cases and the law but listening to WTP brings in perspectives from leading scholars and lawyers from across the political spectrum to discuss what they think and where they agree and disagree. Add in Rosen’s unique style and flair for hosting conversation and thinking about the constitution and you’ve got a podcast unlike any other.

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