Constitutional Law

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Future of Free Speech in America

Thursday, January 22, 2015

After Charlie Hebdo, American citizens and media institutions alike are reconsidering what "free speech" really means--and what it should mean. 

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NYPR Archives & Preservation

Professor Laurence Tribe, The Constitutional Convention of 1787

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It’s not embalmed in a time capsule of amber as though it was not meant to change over time.
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The Brian Lehrer Show

Overturning Teacher Tenure

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A California judge just threw out teacher tenure, calling it the moral equivalent of segregation. Then the Obama administration quickly embraced the ruling. Hear why.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Forget the Constitution

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The argument over the Constitution is typically between the "strict constructionists" and the "living Constitution" school of thought. Louis Michael Seidman, professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center and the author of On Constitutional Disobedience (Oxford University Press, 2013), offers the contrarian view that the Constitution is outdated and that instead of re-interpreting it to fit current issues, it should be ignored altogether.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Clans and Individuals

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mark Weiner teaches constitutional law and legal history at Rutgers School of Law in Newark and is the author of The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom. He joins us look at the concept of individual liberty under central governments and clan-based countries.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Unwritten Constitution

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Akhil Reed Amar, professor of law and political science at Yale University and the author of America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By, looks at the text and the context of the U.S. Constitution.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Jeffrey Toobin on The Oath

Friday, October 05, 2012

Jeffrey Toobin takes a close look at the Supreme Court and its relationship to the White House. His new book The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court documents how, from the moment Chief Justice John Roberts blundered through the Oath of Office at Barack Obama's inauguration, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the White House has been confrontational. Barack Obama and John Roberts are completely at odds on almost every major constitutional issue.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Public Opinion and the Court

Monday, May 21, 2012

Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick talks about what part public opinion should play in evaluating constitutional issues.

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The Takeaway

Obama vs. the Supreme Court: US Attorney General Issues Memo

Friday, April 06, 2012

Yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo, assuring the Supreme Court that President Obama respects the authority of the court to overturn federal laws they find unconstitutional. This memo came after Republican challengers to the Affordable Care Act accused the President of pressuring the Court during deliberations. We discuss the controversy with Jeffrey Rosen, Professor of Law at George Washington University, and Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Jack Goldsmith: The Accountable Presidency

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jack GoldsmithHarvard law professor and member of the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel, talks about his book Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11. 

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The Takeaway

Eric Holder: US Can Target Citizens Overseas

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the United States’ legal defense of using lethal force against U.S. citizens overseas if that citizen is posing a terrorist threat. Holder’s speech, delivered Monday afternoon at Northwestern University, argued in part that the U.S. Constitution’s definition of due process defends the use of lethal force, even without the written consent of the president.

Until now, no legal defense was given for the U.S. mission in Yemen which killed al-Qaeda’s leading figure Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki, who was born in the US, was the radical cleric who successfully took al-Qaeda’s message to YouTube.

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The Takeaway

Teenager Faces Public Outrage Over School Prayer Lawsuit

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old-junior at Cranston High School West, is an outspoken atheist who believes that prayer should not be on display in public schools. Last month she expressed her views at school board hearings and a federal judge ruled in her favor deeming prayer's presence at Cranston High School to be unconstitutional. In retaliation, residents have threatened Ahlquist and others like State Representative Peter G. Palumbo have called her "an evil little thing." 

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The Takeaway

Supreme Court Will Rule on Arizona Immigration Law

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Supreme Court has announced that it will rule on Arizona’s tough immigration law. The case is making its way to the highest court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco blocked parts of the law in April. One of the parts of the law in question is a provision that requires state law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.

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