Your Weekly Constitutional



Produced in partnership with James Madison's Montpelier, Your Weekly Constitutional is a public radio show featuring lively discussion of controversial constitutional topics, from Gay Rights to Gun Rights. Find us on Facebook and iTunes!


  • The Constitution and 2020 - WETS Fundraiser

    The Constitution and 2020 - WETS Fundraiser

    17/10/2020 Duration: 53min

    At last! A new episode! Well, kinda. We're not yet resuming production (sorry), but Wayne and Stewart got together via Skype to discuss some of 2020's most pressing issues. Their interview was part of WETS' 2020 fall fundraiser--so, if you're inclined to support the station that brings you "Your Weekly Constitutional," please consider making a donation.

  • A Tale of Two Papers

    A Tale of Two Papers

    03/07/2020 Duration: 52min

    Two of Stewart's students join us to discuss papers they wrote for his constitutional seminars. First, Jennifer Bolt tells us about the history of slavery and human trafficking among Asian immigrants. Then D.T. Christmas talks about, well, breasts. Join us!

  • The Deep State

    The Deep State

    03/06/2020 Duration: 54min

    Is there such a thing? Well, there’s certainly something called the Administrative State, governed by something called administrative law. Stewart’s colleague, Akram Faizer, is writing a new article on it. He and Stewart discuss Akram's ideas and even argue a little bit about them. Turns out that Stewart has some pretty strong opinions on the subject.

  • Presidential Smackdown! Andrew Jackson v. Donald Trump

    Presidential Smackdown! Andrew Jackson v. Donald Trump

    06/04/2020 Duration: 53min

    Donald Trump likes to compare himself to Andrew Jackson. So do his supporters. So do his opponents, for very different reasons. Are any of these comparisons valid? We ask a guy who should know: University of Tennessee historian Dan Feller, the Director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson.

  • Exonerated! Part Two

    Exonerated! Part Two

    06/04/2020 Duration: 52min

    This is Part Two of a two-part episode. In Part One, we told you about Kristine Bunch, who experienced the worst thing that could happen to any parent: the death of her son, Tony. Then we started to tell you what happened next: a false accusation of arson and murder, a conviction, and more than a decade in prison. Now we’ll tell you the rest of Kristine’s story.

  • Exonerated! Part One

    Exonerated! Part One

    06/04/2020 Duration: 52min

    Kristine Bunch experienced the worst thing that could happen to any parent: the death of her son, Tony. But then things got worse. Much worse. She was accused of his murder. She was accused of burning him to death. Join us for a poignant tale of a wrongful accusation and its terrible aftermath.

  • The First Impeachment

    The First Impeachment

    30/03/2020 Duration: 53min

    Nope. Not Andrew Johnson. It's a guy named William Blount, who was kicked out of the United States Senate more than two hundred years ago. But, like Johnson, Blount was an East Tennessean. Perhaps there's something in the water here. University of Tennessee historian Chris Magra tells the tale.

  • Okay, Brexit. What Now?

    Okay, Brexit. What Now?

    15/02/2020 Duration: 52min

    Well, it happened. Brexit, that is. As of January 31, 2020, the UK is no longer a member of the EU. So . . . what's changed? And what happens next? Our go-to Brexit Guy, William Walton, shares his wisdom with us.

  • Does Tort Reform Violate your Right to a Jury Trial?

    Does Tort Reform Violate your Right to a Jury Trial?

    15/02/2020 Duration: 54min

    Appellate Attorney John Vail recently argued a case in the Tennessee Supreme Court presenting a very important issue: Does Tennessee’s $750,000 cap on "noneconomic" personal injury damages violate the Tennessee Constitution? This case could have a significant impact on so-called "tort reform," in Tennessee and beyond.

  • Defying the President

    Defying the President

    15/02/2020 Duration: 52min

    Remember the parade last fall? The parade of high federal officials lining up to testify before Congress in the impeachment inquiry? Now that the Senate has failed to remove Trump from office, it's payback time. Many of those officials are feeling Trump's wrath. Former federal prosecutor and current D.C. lawyer Benjamin Vernia, whom Stewart previously interviewed about the Mueller Report, sat down with us again and explained all. Please note: this interview was recorded in late 2019, before the Senate impeachment trial.

  • Fault Lines in the Constitution

    Fault Lines in the Constitution

    15/02/2020 Duration: 52min

    Sanford Levinson is a law professor from Texas who is very critical of our Constitution’s “structural flaws.” We interviewed him several years ago on this topic. Now, he’s teamed up with his wife, Cynthia, an author of children’s books, to explain his arguments to a younger audience. Hey, you're never too young to start becoming a good citizen.

  • Why Impeach Donald Trump?

    Why Impeach Donald Trump?

    06/01/2020 Duration: 52min

    Donald Trump often claims that some folks have been trying to impeach him since the day he was sworn in. He's right. Stewart speaks with one of those folks, Ron Fein, of Free Speech for People. Ron's organization has gone beyond calling for Trump's removal from office--it has actually drafted six different Articles of Impeachment.

  • The Ethically-Constrained President

    The Ethically-Constrained President

    06/01/2020 Duration: 52min

    No, not our current president. Another one, perhaps the greatest in our history: Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was anti-slavery, but he didn’t believe that the Constitution gave him the power to ban slavery where it existed. And Lincoln believed in the rule of law. But, eventually, of course, things changed. Daniel Stowell, the former Editor of the Lincoln Papers, was the 2019 McMurtry Lecturer at Lincoln Memorial University. Daniel tells Stewart about Lincoln’s ethical dilemma and how he resolved it.

  • Impeachment in Context

    Impeachment in Context

    11/12/2019 Duration: 53min

    The air is, once again, heavy with talk of impeachment. It’s happened three times before (if you count Richard Nixon’s resignation, which you should). Stewart talks with his buddy Russell Riley from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where the talk is almost always about presidents, and, sometimes, about impeaching them.

  • Virginia in the Vanguard

    Virginia in the Vanguard

    11/12/2019 Duration: 52min

    Recently, Stewart attended a conference at Montpelier focused upon the essential role that Virginia has played in establishing and maintaining representative democracy in North America and the pivotal year of 1619. Jon Alger, the President of James Madison University, also attended. The two of them discuss what they learned, and what they and many others are doing to extend Virginia's legacy.

  • Fighting White Supremacy

    Fighting White Supremacy

    11/12/2019 Duration: 52min

    “Domestic terrorism” has been in the news a lot lately. Many of the mass shootings we’ve recently experienced seem to have been motivated, at least in part, by white supremacist ideology, perhaps with the intent to provoke widespread terror. This has prompted at least one proposal in Congress to create a domestic terrorism statute mirroring laws already in place to fight international terrorism. Doug McKechnie, our First Amendment Guy, discusses some of the constitutional issues such a statute would create, including not only concerns about free speech and association, but also about wiretaps and other forms of government surveillance. And, anyway, are such laws even necessary? Aren’t there already statutes on the books that criminalize murder, assault, damage to property, and conspiracy? Is this a road we want to go down?

  • Tariff Man!

    Tariff Man!

    20/11/2019 Duration: 52min

    Donald Trump calls himself Tariff Man, and he certainly seems to enjoy waging his trade wars. Has he exceeded his constitutional authority? What, precisely, is a tariff, anyway? And who has the power to impose them? Joel Trachtman of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University shares his expertise with Stewart, and, boy, does Joel know a lot about law, economics, and, well, tariffs.

  • ERA in VA: The Battle Continues

    ERA in VA: The Battle Continues

    25/10/2019 Duration: 52min

    Earlier this year, we told you about the push for Virginia to become the final necessary state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. That hasn't happened yet, but the battle continues. We speak with Virginia's Deputy Solicitor General, Michelle Kallen, who guides us through the constitutional thicket.

  • Democracy and Truth

    Democracy and Truth

    03/10/2019 Duration: 52min

    Sophia Rosenfeld is a historian at the University of Pennsylvania. She's published an incisive and timely book about the fraught relationship between democratic governance and, well, the truth. Turns out that when it comes to politics--SPOILER ALERT--not everything you hear is factual. And some people--SPOILER ALERT--believe falsehoods even after they've been debunked. But aren't facts necessary to democratic debate and governance? How can we address these fundamental problems? Sophia has a few ideas. Join us!

  • Sacred Liberty

    Sacred Liberty

    24/09/2019 Duration: 52min
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