Here’s a topic guaranteed to get a big laugh…the Constitution.
The national tour of comedian Colin Quinn Unconstitutional, is stopping at The Colonial Theater in Keene this Friday. Quinn, after all, made the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal funny as anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, and has now condensed the Constitution’s history into a witty 75-minute one-man play. His new show finds the humor in how the right and the left argue over the meanings and interpretations of the Constitution.
As another debt ceiling deadline looms, on top of a government shutdown, we’ll look at what our nation’s defining document, particularly the fourteenth amendment, says about federal debt, as well as the roles of Congress and the President.
The Constitution gives Congress the right to declare war and the President to wage it. Yet many presidents have taken military action, without involving lawmakers. President Obama’s recent decision to seek Congressional support for intervention in Syria has renewed debate over when and how we engage our military.
The 10th Amendment reserves powers not delegated to the federal government back to the states. But where the line between federal and state power lies has been debated for centuries, including recent debates over gay marriage, gun rights and abortion. We’ll take stock of the Tenth Amendment, and the implications for policy that flow from it.
A case in Wisconsin is testing the limits of the Fifth Amendment in the digital age. In January, the FBI seized 20 terabytes of hard drives from Jeffrey Feldman, a man accused possessing underage pornography – but could only decrypt 20% of it. Until last week, a federal court judge had placed the burden on the defendant to decrypt the rest or face charges of contempt. Last week, his attorney successfully argued an emergency motion to extend that deadline. She claims that asking Feldman to decrypt files that would be used against him in the case is a violation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Declan McCullagh is chief political correspondent and senior writer for C-Net and has been following the story.
It’s relatively short, only twenty-seven words, but long on controversy. And it’s recently resurfaced in our debates over gun rights and gun control. We’ll pick apart the language of the second amendment with two constitutional scholars and examine what our founding fathers may have really meant, and how we look at it, in our time.
Today, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband launched a political action committee with a goal of countering the influence of the gun lobby. the new PAC leverages public calls for stricter gun controls following the Sandy Hook shooting last month.
We look at what our nation’s most important document, the Constitution, says and doesn’t say about elections. There’s some debate over who should write the rules, the federal or state governments, also who exactly can cast a ballot and if voting is a right or a privilege. We’ll talk with those involved in new civics program called “Constitutionally speaking”.
A bill requiring New Hampshire students to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance passed a house committee today.
"Standing is a sign of national patriotism," says Republican Representative Lawrence Kappler.
Current law permits students to remain seated, as long as they are silent and respectful. The constitutionality of the bill is in question, however. Representative Gary Richardson believes that requiring someone to stand is clearly an issue of free speech.