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Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Brought to you by, Cathy Gillespie

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Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Cathy Gillespie, and Constituting America’s Student Ambassadors – Tova Love Kaplan, Jule Gilbert and Jorne Gilbert – chat with Constitutional experts on hot-topic issues via Zoom!

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Recent Episodes of Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America


Ep. 213 - The Trump Tax Cuts Case Before The Supreme Court

Ep. 213 - The Trump Tax Cuts Case Before The Supreme Court

The 16th Amendment gives power to congress to “lay and collect taxes.”  After all, a country has to have an ability to raise revenue. When it comes to that revenue, we have had a tradition of paying taxes on income, not the value of an investment, like paying taxes when we sell a few shares of stock in a company and not on the growth of that stock every year we own it.  Those are called realized gains.  There is discussion in the federal government to change that and tax unrealized gains meaning we would have to pay taxes on the...

Episode 213 22 May 2024 54m and 41s


Ep. 212: What Is Gerrymandering?

Ep. 212: What Is Gerrymandering?

The Constitution dictates every 10 years we undergo a Census to count how many people live in each state.  Based off these population numbers, congressional seats are then apportioned.  States who lost population might lose a seat and states who grew may gain a seat or two since we can only have 435 total seats in the U.S. House.  This brings up an obvious question: who gets to redraw congressional districts after apportionment and can they redraw those districts for a political benefit?  This is where gerrymandering comes into play.  According to our guest expert, “gerrymandering” is drawing districts that are perce...

Episode 212 16 May 2024 56m and 2s


Ep. 211 - Homeless Encampments In Public Spaces

Ep. 211 - Homeless Encampments In Public Spaces

City Councils all across the country have been tackling an issue that has bipartisan concern: how to tackle homeless populations within their cities.  Grants Pass, OR., is one such city.  Grants Pass is in the middle of the Supreme Court case Johnson v. Grants Pass that is challenging that city’s ability to levy civil and criminal punishments to deter homeless encampments.  A Supreme Court decision is expected this summer.  To help our student panel understand the broad implications of this Supreme Court case and the “strait jacket” put on cities by lower courts to enforce their ordinances, we are deligh...

Episode 211 10 May 2024 51m and 32s


Ep. 210 - What Is The SEC? Do “In House” Tribunals Violate the Right To Jury?

Ep. 210 - What Is The SEC? Do “In House” Tribunals Violate the Right To Jury?

Trial by jury and fair court proceedings bound by constitutional restraint are bedrock principles of our federal government.  Imagine being charged with a crime by a federal agency except the agency handles the entire court proceedings with a judge on its payroll.  The Securities and Exchange Commission was created by a 1934 act in response to the Great Depression and Stock Market Crash of 1929.  In 2008, in response to the financial crisis, its powers were significantly expanded through the Dodd Frank Act.  Under that legislation, the SEC was allowed to have in-house court proceedings with administrative law judges it hires.  As such...

Episode 210 3 May 2024 55m and 27s


Ep. 209 - How Far Can The EPA Go In Regulating A State's Emissions?

Ep. 209 - How Far Can The EPA Go In Regulating A State's Emissions?

In February of this year, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Ohio v. EPA.  This case challenges the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce the Good Neighbor Plan which aims to curb pollution carried by the wind into neighboring states. As usual, legal proceedings can easily become confusing as a lawsuit makes its way to the Supreme Court.  Fortunately, we are welcoming back Steve Bradbury, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, to help us unravel this case as we discuss the background and ramifications of this lawsuit.

Episode 209 25 April 2024 55m and 25s


Ep. 208 - Limiting Unelected Officials’ Powers

Ep. 208 - Limiting Unelected Officials’ Powers

Federally, we have 536 elected positions between Congress and the President.  We then have 2.8 million federal employees.  How do we limit the power among the unelected officials we have in our federal government?  To tackle this very important question, the Supreme Court introduced the Chevron Doctrine (also called the Chevron Deference) as a result of the 1984 Supreme Court case Chevron USA v Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.  To help us understand the complexities of the Chevron Doctrine, how the powers of unelected officials have grown over the years and how current cases before the Supreme Court may affect these powers, we a...

Episode 208 19 April 2024 58m and 53s


Ep. 207 - What Does The Constitution Say About Presidential Immunity?

Ep. 207 - What Does The Constitution Say About Presidential Immunity?

Presidential immunity is in the news a lot lately.  It derives from a notion that all three branches of government retain powers to execute their duties under the constitution.  But there is also a tradition in our country that no one is above the law.  In a nation that follows established law, not following those laws can lead to anarchy or distrust in the government.  We have a lot to unpack with this very timely and relevant topic. To help us do so alongside our student panel, we are delighted to welcome fan-favorite guest Adam Carrington, associate professor of poli...

Episode 207 14 April 2024 1h, 1m and 10s


Ep. 206 - Can Elected Officials Block You On Social Media?

Ep. 206 - Can Elected Officials Block You On Social Media?

Did you know the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear four cases pertaining to social media this term?  One of the major issues is whether or not an elected official has the authority to limit speech on social media accounts by blocking critical comments pertaining to their work in office.  We know government cannot prohibit your speech, but are elected officials required to permit all comments on their official pages, or can they censor them? What about their personal pages?  Can the government pressure social media companies to take down posts the government seems “misinformation”? There’s a lot to...

Episode 206 5 April 2024 56m and 55s


Ep. 205 - How To Fix Congress?

Ep. 205 - How To Fix Congress?

Who is the Speaker of the House and what are his duties?  How does a bill become law?  What are the three branches of government.  Let’s be honest, so many in our country are not fully educated on civics.    If we don’t understand how Congress works, we get frustrated with the whole process.  This leads to an overall sentiment that Congress is broken.  Our guest today likes to say “without public trust, you cannot govern.  Without governing, people get angry and hostile and walk away from the system.” Today, joining our student panel to discuss how we can begin to fix...

Episode 205 28 March 2024 57m and 46s


Ep. 204 - George Washington's Vision For National Government

Ep. 204 - George Washington's Vision For National Government

Winning a war was just the beginning for George Washington’s service to our new country.  After retiring to Mount Vernon post-war, Washington saw a weakness in our country under the Articles of Confederation.  He felt the future of republican democratic self-government globally was dependent on the American experiment.  If it were to fail in that perfect post-war moment, man was probably not destined to govern himself. Washington’s views on what the government should look like can seem to be contradictory in that he wanted a strong central government, as opposed to what the country had under the Article...

Episode 204 23 March 2024 58m and 26s

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