July 4, 2003 |
In this city where patriots such as George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton gathered 216 years ago to write the U.S. Constitution, a museum opens today paying tribute to the document. The purpose of the National Constitution Center, its leaders say, is to bring the history of the nation's charter to life and to persuade visitors that democracy is a participatory process.
July 13, 2001 |
A racially and religiously diverse coalition proposed an amendment to the Constitution on Thursday that would explicitly define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, launching the latest volley in an intensifying battle over the degree of recognition and benefits that gay and lesbian couples should receive. The Federal Marriage Amendment will soon be introduced in Congress, according to members of the Alliance for Marriage.
May 23, 2001 |
Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, responding to a question by the National Rifle Assn., reasserted his belief that the Constitution guarantees people the right to own guns. "While some have argued that the 2nd Amendment guarantees only a 'collective' right of the states to maintain militias, I believe the amendment's plain meaning and original intent prove otherwise," he said.
February 25, 2001 |
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says judges who read new rights into the Constitution are "impoverishing democracy" by taking issues out of public debate. "My Constitution is a very flexible document," he told an audience at a conference on James Madison at Princeton University. "You want a right to abortion? Pass a law. That's flexibility." Judges who interpret the Constitution as an evolving document want to drive issues out of the democratic debate, he said.
February 10, 2001 |
The president's power to pardon federal criminals is one of the few absolutes in the law. The chief executive is free to use or abuse this authority and cannot be checked by Congress or the courts. What were the authors of the Constitution thinking? Apparently, about wars and rebellions. "They wanted the president to be free to go, at a moment's notice, to say to the rebels: 'Lay down your arms and I will be merciful,' " said Yale law professor Akhil Amar, an expert on constitutional history.
December 8, 2000 |
Dick Cheney is a Wyoming resident and therefore would be constitutionally qualified to serve as George W. Bush's vice president, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The ruling came from the bench after an hourlong hearing in which lawyers for three Texas residents argued that Cheney had moved to Bush's home state of Texas when he took a job there in 1993.
November 18, 2000 |
A federal lawsuit seeks to block the election of Republican George W. Bush by challenging running mate Dick Cheney's claim to be a resident of Wyoming. The suit, filed by Lawrence A. Caplan of Boca Raton, Fla., claims Cheney is a resident of Texas, and that he and Bush, therefore, shouldn't be awarded that state's 32 electoral votes. Cheney spokeswoman Juleanna Glover Weiss dismissed the action as frivolous. He "is a legally registered voter in Wyoming," Weiss said.
April 28, 2000 |
An effort led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to pass a constitutional amendment that would protect the rights of crime victims fizzled in the Senate on Thursday amid concern that altering the Constitution is the wrong way to address the issue. With private vote counts showing that the proposal did not have the two-thirds support needed to pass a constitutional amendment, an obviously frustrated Feinstein and her co-sponsor, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.
March 29, 2000 |
In a rare rebuff to police, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that an officer may not stop and frisk a pedestrian based only on an anonymous caller's tip. Instead, the justices reaffirmed the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and stressed that officers need specific, reliable evidence of some wrongdoing before they stop a person on the street. The surprising 9-0 ruling threw out gun-wielding charges against a black youth in Miami who was frisked and arrested at a bus stop.