392 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
    • 4.6 • 914 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.

    The Case for Reforming the Electoral Count Act

    The Case for Reforming the Electoral Count Act

    The Electoral Count Act of 1887 dictates the congressional procedure for certifying electoral college results in a presidential election. The Act was passed in response to the presidential election of 1876—where Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, but lost the presidency to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes because of contested results in three states—in an effort to avoid future contested elections
    But a large bipartisan group of election law scholars and politicians across the political spectrum have argued that the law creates more confusion and needs to be reformed. Today on We the People, we’re doing a deep dive into the Electoral Count Act and proposals for fixing it—which have gained traction after the events of January 6, 2020, when members of Congress challenged the electoral slates of several states and some, along with President Trump, asked Vice President Pence not to certify these votes, which would have switched the presidential election results from Joe Biden to Trump.
     
    Joining host Jeffrey Rosen are two election law experts who co-authored an op-ed in The Washington Post titled “How Congress can fix the Electoral Count Act. Ned Foley holds the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law at The Ohio State University, and he also directs its election law program. Brad Smith is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Professor of Law at Capital University Law School. And from 2000-2005, he served on the Federal Election Commission.
     
    The National Constitution Center relies on support from listeners like you to provide nonpartisan constitutional education to Americans of all ages. In honor of the 234th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, every dollar you give to support the We the People podcast campaign will be doubled with a generous 1:1 match up to a total of $234,000, made possible by the John Templeton Foundation!
    Visit www.constitutioncenter.org/we-the-people to donate, and thank you for your crucial support.
     
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.
    Continue today’s conversation on Facebook and Twitter using @ConstitutionCtr.
    Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.

    • 55 min
    Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Biden’s Vaccine Mandates?

    Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Biden’s Vaccine Mandates?

    On January 7 the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a set of cases challenging the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine mandates. Under one mandate, employers with more than 100 employees must require those employees to be vaccinated, or be tested for Covid on a weekly basis. Under the other mandate, any health care facility that participates in Medicare or Medicaid must ensure that all their workers are fully vaccinated.
    Joining host Jeffrey Rosen are two attorneys who filed amicus briefs in these cases. John Masslon, senior litigation counsel at Washington Legal Foundation, filed an amicus brief arguing against the legality of the mandates, and Deepak Gupta, founding principal of Gupta Wessler and instructor at Harvard’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, filed an amicus brief in support of the legality of the mandates on behalf of the American Public Health Association.
    The National Constitution Center relies on support from listeners like you to provide nonpartisan constitutional education to Americans of all ages. In honor of the 234th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, every dollar you give to support the We the People podcast campaign will be doubled with a generous 1:1 match up to a total of $234,000, made possible by the John Templeton Foundation!
    Visit www.constitutioncenter.org/we-the-people to donate, and thank you for your crucial support.
     
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.
    Continue today’s conversation on Facebook and Twitter using @ConstitutionCtr.
    Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.

    • 55 min
    Live at the NCC: Poetry and the Constitution

    Live at the NCC: Poetry and the Constitution

    How have poets and poetry—from John Milton to Mercy Otis Warren and Phillis Wheatley—influenced the Constitution and America’s core democratic principles? Join Vincent Carretta, editor of the Penguin Classics editions of the Complete Writings of Phillis Wheatley and professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, Eileen M. Hunt, full professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, and Eric Slauter, associate professor and director of the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago, for a discussion exploring the ways poetry has intersected with the Constitution and constitutional ideas throughout American history. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates.
    This program originally aired on our companion podcast, Live at the National Constitution Center. Check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts..
    We’ll be back next week to kick off another year of lively and civil constitutional debates.
    Additional resources and transcript available in our Media Library at constitutioncenter.org/constitution.
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.

    • 54 min
    2021: A Constitutional Year in Review

    2021: A Constitutional Year in Review

    In this episode, we look back on the events of 2021 from a constitutional perspective—from a violent mob storming the Capitol in January, to the inauguration of President Biden, and the convergence of a new Supreme Court with the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett; from key Supreme Court cases about religious liberty, voting rights, abortion, and guns, and finally, continuing questions about the scope of individual rights and government power amidst the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
    As 2021 comes to a close, we look back on how this year will be remembered in constitutional history. Joining host Jeffrey Rosen for the conversation are Adam Liptak, Supreme Court reporter for The New York Times, and Jennifer Mascott, assistant professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.
     
    The National Constitution Center relies on support from listeners like you to provide nonpartisan constitutional education to Americans of all ages. In honor of the 234th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, every dollar you give to support the We the People podcast campaign will be doubled with a generous 1:1 match up to a total of $234,000, made possible by the John Templeton Foundation!
    Visit www.constitutioncenter.org/we-the-people to donate, and thank you for your crucial support.
     
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.
    Continue today’s conversation on Facebook and Twitter using @ConstitutionCtr.
    Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Should the Supreme Court Be Reformed?

    Should the Supreme Court Be Reformed?

    Last spring, President Biden issued an executive order to form the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, a bipartisan commission charged with examining proposals for Supreme Court reform. The commission, made up of more than 30 of the nation’s leading legal scholars and experts on the judiciary, submitted a 294-page report to the president last week. 
    Some of the proposals examined in the report include court expansion, term limits, and jurisdiction stripping, as well as the Court’s larger role in the constitutional system. Host Jeffrey Rosen is joined by two members of the commission: Tara Leigh Grove, professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, and Keith Whittington, professor of politics at Princeton University. They lay out the cases for and against each proposal, and discuss the complications involved in implementing any of them.
     
    The National Constitution Center relies on support from listeners like you to provide nonpartisan constitutional education to Americans of all ages. In honor of the 234th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, every dollar you give to support the We the People podcast campaign will be doubled with a generous 1:1 match up to a total of $234,000, made possible by the John Templeton Foundation!
    Visit www.constitutioncenter.org/we-the-people to donate, and thank you for your crucial support.

    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.
    Continue today’s conversation on Facebook and Twitter using @ConstitutionCtr.
    Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.

    • 53 min
    Student Aid, Religious Education, and the First Amendment

    Student Aid, Religious Education, and the First Amendment

    This week, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Carson v. Makin, which centers around the free exercise clause, and public funding for religious education.
    The issue is whether a state—in this case, Maine, violates the First Amendment by prohibiting students participating in an otherwise generally available student-aid program from choosing to use their aid to attend schools that provide religious, or “sectarian,” instruction.
    In Maine, not all school districts have their own public secondary schools. For students in those districts, the state will pay for them to attend private high schools— unless the private school has a religious affiliation. The petitioners in this case are parents who are seeking that state funding for their son to attend a religious private school. 
    Host Jeffrey Rosen is joined by Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law and co-author of The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State, and Michael McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law at Stanford, and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. They discuss the history of religious schooling and public funding in America under the Constitution, including from the founding onward; what historical precedent means for how to understand and interpret the religious freedom clauses of the First Amendment; and how the Court might rule in the case.

    The National Constitution Center relies on support from listeners like you to provide nonpartisan constitutional education to Americans of all ages. In honor of the 234th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, every dollar you give to support the We the People podcast campaign will be doubled with a generous 1:1 match up to a total of $234,000, made possible by the John Templeton Foundation! Visit constitutioncenter.org/wethepeople, and thank you for your crucial support.
    Questions or comments about the show? Email us at podcast@constitutioncenter.org.
    Continue today’s conversation on Facebook and Twitter using @ConstitutionCtr. 
    Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
914 Ratings

914 Ratings

gomi172 ,

Informative, balanced and respectful

I just love the respectful, informative discussions presented in this podcast. Jeffrey Rosen and the We The People team consistently produce high quality, timely content featuring guests with deep knowledge of the US Constitution, its application and history. Just the sort of show we need during these fractious times.

tyftyvyigyugoury ,

Vital Work For Our Future

Please give the NCC a listen. They take the temperature down on divisive issues and March the discussion forward. Please consider donating!

J. Ryskamp ,

Fair and Balanced, but actually

I love this podcast and if the Supreme Court interests you, you will love it too. They do a great job of having guests who are thoughtful and opinionated and have totally different views on important topics but at the same time almost never are they swarmy or rude. It’s a great example of how reasoned discussion and debate can still exist and is a fundamental part of our democracy. Well done.

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