426 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 • 934 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 NCC’s Constitutional Convention Reports: The Proposed Amendments

    The NCC’s Constitutional Convention Reports: The Proposed Amendments

    This summer, as a continuation of the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Drafting Project, teams of leading conservative, libertarian, and progressive scholars  convened for a virtual constitutional convention. After debating and deliberating together, they drafted and proposed a series of amendments to the Constitution. In this episode, we share the presentation that the team leaders made on Monday, discussing the five amendments they all agreed upon. Caroline Fredrickson, senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice represented team progressive, Ilan Wurman, associate professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, represented team conservative, and Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, represented team libertarian. Other convention “delegates” included team progressive’s Jamal Greene of Columbia Law School; team libertarian’s Christina Mulligan of Brooklyn Law School and Timothy Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute; and team conservative’s  Robert George of Princeton University, Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School, and Colleen Sheehan of Arizona State University. 

    Read the amendments along with introductions by the team leaders here. 

    This program is presented in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Drafting Project.
    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 4 min
    Originalism: A Matter of Interpretation

    Originalism: A Matter of Interpretation

    September 17 is Constitution Day in the United States, celebrating the day that members of the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia in 1787.
    As a part of the National Constitution Center’s 2022 celebrations, we hosted a panel live at the NCC in Philadelphia called “Originalism: A Matter of Interpretation.”
    Emily Bazelon of The New York Times Magazine, Rich Lowry of the National Review, Steven Mazie of The Economist, and Ilan Wurman of Arizona State University joined host Jeffrey Rosen to discuss whether the Constitution should be interpreted according to its original meaning, and if the Supreme Court is consistent in applying principles of originalism in its decisions.
     
    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 1 min
    The Intellectual Inspirations Behind the Constitution

    The Intellectual Inspirations Behind the Constitution

    We have just launched an exciting project on the NCC’s website: The Founders’ Library. In it, you can read primary texts that span American constitutional history—from the philosophical works that influenced the Founding generation, to the most important speeches, essays, books, pamphlets, petitions, letters, court cases, landmark statutes, and state constitutions that have shaped the American constitutional tradition. To ensure nonpartisan rigor and ideological diversity, we assembled a group of leading scholars from diverse perspectives to help choose the sources included in the document library.
    Two of those scholars—Paul Rahe of Hillsdale College and Jonathan Gienapp from Stanford University—join host Jeffrey Rosen today to discuss some of the early texts from the Founders’ Library.

    Read Professor Rahe’s picks from the Intellectual Foundations of the American Founding (Before 1750):

    Thucydides — Thucydides, The War between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians (ca. 431-400 BC)

    Bacon & Hobbes (together) — Francis Bacon, “Selected Excerpts” (1620) and Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651)

    James Harrington — James Harrington, The Commonwealth of Oceana (1656)

    Locke – religious toleration, right to revolution — John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) and Two Treatises on Government (1690)

    Hume & Adam Smith — David Hume, Essays Moral, Political and Literary (1741-58) and Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)

    Montesquieu — Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws (1748)

     Read Professor Gienapp’s picks from the Founding Era (1750-1790):

    John Dickinson, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (1768)

    William Cushing, Instructions to the Jury in the Quock Walker Case, Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Nathaniel Jennison (1783)

    James Iredell, To the Public (1786)

    George Mason, Objections to the Constitution of Government formed by the Convention (1787)

     
    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 15 min
    The Legality of the Biden Administration’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

    The Legality of the Biden Administration’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

    On August 24th, the White House announced a plan to forgive $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers who received Pell Grants, and $10,000 for other borrowers—all of whom must meet certain income qualifications. The Biden administration says the plan falls under The HEROES Act of 2003. Those in opposition of the plan say it’s presidential overreach, and unfair to those who didn’t go to college or already paid back their loans. Fred Lawrence of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Charles C. W. Cooke of the National Review join host Jeffrey Rosen to discuss the legal issues on all sides of the loan forgiveness plan.
     
    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 3 min
    Is the First Amendment Enough Today?

    Is the First Amendment Enough Today?

    Today on We the People, we’re sharing a conversation from a private event hosted by the National Constitution Center this May in Coral Gables, Florida, recorded with permission from the speakers.
    The question we asked of our panelists was, “Is the First Amendment Enough?” In today’s world of Twitter mobs, disinformation, and polarized media, should we be looking for a new standard when it comes to regulating speech—or not? 
    Journalists Kimberly Atkins Stohr of The Boston Globe, David French of The Dispatch, Ali Velshi of MSNBC, and legal scholar Larry Kramer of the William Flora Hewlett Foundation join NCC president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen for the conversation.

    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.

    • 58 min
    Constitutional Questions After the Raid on Mar-a-Lago

    Constitutional Questions After the Raid on Mar-a-Lago

    On August 8, the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida. They seized 11 sets of documents, some of which were labeled “top secret.” Later in the week, a federal judge unsealed the search warrant, which stated that Trump was being investigated for possibly violating the Espionage Act and two other criminal statutes. John Yoo of the University of California at Berkeley and Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas Law School join host Jeffrey Rosen to talk about the raid, the investigation, and the constitutional questions that arise out of it.
    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.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
934 Ratings

934 Ratings

Constitution Wrangler ,

We The People

Where else can you find substantive debates about and the intellectual basis for our constitutional democracy? Jeffrey Rosen and his team are providing the nation with a free education on ways to argue using the people's document.

writemor ,

Embracing plurality and diversity as a solution

Information dissemination in the 21st century - the nucleus of multiple crises in America. So great to have reasoned and good-humored experts identify problems and propose solutions. Perhaps Mr. Musk will tune in.

Ryczard ,

Needs a critical reset

I was an avid listener until the woefully inadequate discussion of the Dobbs decision and the descent of SCOTUS into the netherworld of irrationality.

You Might Also Like

Will Baude, Dan Epps
SCOTUSblog
Slate Podcasts
Crooked Media
Akhil Reed Amar
The Lawfare Institute