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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.

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.
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Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

202-334-9768


Episodes

Ourselves and our posterity

2/12/2018
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In the "Constitutional" finale, we address listener questions about the history--and future--of the nation's governing document.

Duration:00:56:03

Episode 16: The First Amendment

1/29/2018
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Why do First Amendment rights trump nearly every other right in America? Thank Jehovah's Witnesses.

Duration:00:53:30

Episode 15: Privacy

1/15/2018
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How should the Constitution's privacy protections be translated for a new technological 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.

Duration:00:46:39

Episode 14: Prohibition

1/1/2018
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The passage and then repeal of the 18th Amendment, banning alcohol in America, highlighted the pitfalls of trying to legislate against vice.

Duration:00:54:37

Episode 13: Taxes

12/18/2017
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In overhauling the tax code, Congress today faces the same question it faced a century ago when creating the modern tax system: What kind of society should America be?

Duration:00:43:40

Episode 12: The common defense

12/4/2017
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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.

Duration:00:50:56

Episode 11: War

11/20/2017
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What was the original point of the Second Amendment? We examine its colonial and revolutionary roots—plus its quiet companion, the Third Amendment—with renowned American history scholar Gordon Wood.

Duration:00:42:43

Episode 10: Love

11/6/2017
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The words "marriage" and "love" appear nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. Yet 50 years ago, the Supreme Court issued a decision that would embed those concepts in the heart of the document itself.

Duration:00:40:07

Episode 09: Fair punishment

10/23/2017
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"There is so much feeling of racial injustice around the issue of punishment. And you have to understand that those feelings have a history -- and that history is Parchman Farm."

Duration:00:52:27

Episode 08: Fair trials

10/9/2017
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In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that states must offer a defense attorney to all poor people accused of crimes. It was a decision that transformed the concept of fair trials in America, but that still left major challenges to the justice system today.

Duration:00:47:58

Episode 07: Congress and citizens

9/25/2017
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Is it a feature or a bug of the amendment process that an idea of James Madison's, more than 200 years ago, could be recently resurrected and etched into the U.S. Constitution?

Duration:00:40:19

Episode 06: Senate and states

9/11/2017
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When the United States changed its process for electing senators, did that lead to a decline in state power? Or did it instead bring us closer to a "more perfect union"?

Duration:00:46:46

Hear ye! Hear ye!

9/4/2017
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Now that we've concluded our mini-series exploring "we the people," we're moving to a biweekly schedule, with brand new Constitutional episodes coming out every other Monday. Stay tuned!

Duration:00:02:01

Episode 05: Gender

8/28/2017
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From the American Revolution through today, women have been leading a long-burning rebellion to gain rights not originally guaranteed under the Constitution.

Duration:00:50:02

Episode 04: Race

8/21/2017
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As powerful as it was to change the Constitution after the Civil War, and enshrine racial equality into our governing document, that wasn’t enough to change the reality of life in America.

Duration:00:52:59

Episode 03: Nationality

8/14/2017
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What makes someone American? A landmark Supreme Court case in 1898, involving a child born in San Francisco to Chinese immigrant parents, would help answer that question.

Duration:00:48:45

Episode 02: Ancestry

8/7/2017
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This "we the people" episode explores indigenous rights. In 1879, a case involving Chief Standing Bear came before a Nebraska courtroom and demanded an answer to the question: Are Native Americans considered human beings under the U.S. Constitution?

Duration:00:42:06

We the people

7/31/2017
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In the next set of episodes for Constitutional, we’ll focus on four groups of people who have gained rights that weren’t originally there in the Constitution.

Duration:00:02:21

Episode 01: Framed

7/24/2017
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In the premier episode of “Constitutional,” we go back in time to that hot Philadelphia summer in 1787 when a group of revolutionary Americans debated, drank and together drafted the U.S. Constitution. Episode guests include historian Erica Dunbar, National Archivist David Ferriero, the Library of Congress’s Julie Miller and the National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen.

Duration:01:04:36

The preamble

7/17/2017
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In order to form a more perfect podcast, we created this overview of what you can expect from "Constitutional" when it launches July 24.

Duration:00:03:35