We the PeopleAuthor: National Constitution Center
17 Nov 2018

We the People

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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 contemporary and historical constitutional issues.

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    The Attorney General, the President, and Congressional Oversight

    After Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Trump, the president appointed Sessions’ former chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, to serve as acting attorney general, and a flurry of questions about the legality, constitutionality, and political repercussions of these developments ensued. Constitutional law scholar Steve Vladeck and political scientist Greg Weiner join host Jeffrey Rosen to think through those questions, including: Is Whitaker’s appointment constitutional? What are Congress’ powers to investigate or even subpoena the President or other executive branch officials over Sessions’ departure? How could the President respond? What will happen to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation? Is a constitutional crisis developing, or is this simply the Constitution at work? 

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  • Posted on 15 Nov 2018

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    Does the Constitution Require Birthright Citizenship?

    President Trump’s declaration that he could revoke birthright citizenship with an executive order has set off a firestorm of controversy among legal scholars. On this episode, Professors Akhil Amar and Edward Erler debate whether or not the 14th Amendment requires birthright citizenship for all, and dive into the disputed history and original meaning of the Constitution’s Citizenship Clause. Jeffrey Rosen moderates as Amar argues that birthright citizenship is constitutionally required, while Erler asserts that it is not, and that Congress has the power to change it—and should.


    Check out the Citizenship Clause of our Interactive Constitution: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-xiv/the-citizenship-clause-by-akhil-amar-and-john-harrison/clause/56 

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  • Posted on 08 Nov 2018

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    Voting Rights, Election Law, and the Midterms


    As Americans prepare to head to the polls next week, We the People partnered with Ballotpedia for a rundown of the election law and voting rights issues most relevant to the 2018 midterms. Ballotpedia’s News Editor Sarah Rosier joins election law scholars Franita Tolson and Michael Morley to break down all sides of the legal arguments surrounding voter ID laws, gerrymandering, “signature matching,” the purging of voter rolls, and felon disenfranchisement. Jeffrey Rosen hosts. 

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  • Posted on 01 Nov 2018

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    Key Congressional Elections in History

    With the 2018 midterm elections fast approaching, this episode delves into the history of congressional elections, from the Founding to today, answering the questions: What did the Founders expect that Congressional elections would look like? What did they look like throughout the 19th and 20th centuries? How did they lead to the political tribalism of the 21st century? And what can the most consequential congressional elections, the ones that realigned and redefined our nation, tell us about the upcoming election? Host Jeffrey Rosen is joined by two leading experts on Congress, its history, and congressional elections – Matthew Green of Catholic University and Thomas Mann of UC Berkeley and Brookings. 

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  • Posted on 25 Oct 2018

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    Is There a Supreme Court Legitimacy Crisis?

    In the aftermath of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, debates about the Supreme Court’s legitimacy remain in the public spotlight. Some believe that the Kavanaugh confirmation caused a legitimacy crisis that can only be solved by reform proposals such as court packing and term limits for justices, while others believe the Court has maintained its legitimacy and is still a neutral arbiter of the law.

    Is the Supreme Court really having a legitimacy crisis? Host Jeffrey Rosen discusses that question and the future of the Court with two constitutional scholars from opposing sides of the Kavanaugh debate – Professor Jennifer Mascott, who testified on Justice Kavanaugh’s behalf at his confirmation hearings, and Professor Melissa Murray, who testified against his nomination. 

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  • Posted on 18 Oct 2018

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