U.S. Constitution

An illustration of the Boston Massacre

From my cold dead hand: Gun groups perpetuate militia myth to keep whatever arms they dream of

BY: - May 25, 2023

About the Second Amendment: I have questions. I cannot wrap my lizard-sized brain around the notion that the reason for people to keep and own guns is to protect against tyranny. Spare me the historical discourses about the establishment of the Second Amendment, because I realize a bunch of a rag-tag colonists rose up against […]

ERA marchers in the 1970's

Revived push for Equal Rights Amendment blocked by U.S. Senate Republicans

BY: - April 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate failed to advance a symbolic measure to enshrine in the Constitution equal protection on the basis of sex, a century after the idea began circulating among lawmakers. Senators on Thursday voted 51-47 to go forward with a bill that would lift Congress’ self-imposed 1982 deadline for three-fourths of states to […]


Prof. Gene Nichol: Supreme Court right-wingers should spare us their claims of “originalism”

BY: - July 12, 2022

If you are a subscriber or can get past the pay wall, be sure to check out the op-ed that Prof. Gene Nichol of the UNC School of Law contributed to Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning. In “Republicans on the Supreme Court are ‘originalist’ until they don’t want to be,” Nichol skillfully exposes the […]


Enslavers and elitists, the Founding Fathers are not sacred. The GOP should stop worshipping them.

BY: - April 4, 2022

When they’re not busy accusing her of being too lenient on pedophiles and too hard on white people, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee holding hearings on Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson purport to worship an originalist judicial philosophy. That means they like judges who promise, all Antonin Scalia-like, to base judicial rulings on what (they prefer to think) the Constitution’s framers intended.


Veteran U.S. journalist: ‘We the people’ are in dangerous territory

BY: - March 7, 2022

The state of our union is precarious. It is precarious not because of some outside threat – outside threats we can still handle. It is precarious because we have forgotten our way, because we find ourselves increasingly seduced by a perverted, stunted and selfish notion of freedom. It is precarious because some of us have […]


Legendary journalist: This is how how we preserve and protect our democracy

BY: - December 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – You may have missed a hugely important story recently because the media soft-pedaled it. But Congress has just taken a major step toward hand-cuffing the unchecked presidential abuse of power that was a hallmark of the Trump Presidency. For four years and more, Donald Trump ran roughshod over the guardrails of our republic...

Can Trump pardon himself? It’s complicated.

BY: - December 4, 2020

On Aug. 5, 1974, a lawyer named general Mary Lawnton wrote a memo for her bosses at the Justice Department.  Today, few people remember her but that memo has recently become very important. Its title is “Presidential or Legislative Pardon of the President.” Lawnton addressed a question that no court had ever decided, a critical question to Watergate-obsessed America: can a president pardon himself?


Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: A provision of the Constitution that should be retired

BY: - November 7, 2020

Let’s face it. The idea of anybody being appointed to any job “for life” is ridiculous. It’s important to remember when Alexander Hamilton and Company came up with this notion of lifelong appointments for federal judges, the life expectancy was 33. To put it another way, they made this call at a time in our […]

Prominent NC lawyers to state leaders: Take down the Confederate monuments now

BY: - June 17, 2020

Momentum continues to build quickly across the United States for the removal of statues, monuments and other public symbols dedicated to the memory of individuals with backgrounds marred by connections to racism and white supremacy. Now a group of prominent North Carolina lawyers is speaking up on the issue and calling for immediate action. In […]


Duke history professor: Today’s police protests are rooted in America’s constitutional order

BY: - June 8, 2020

If you get a chance, try to check out a column that ran on the opinion pages of the Washington Post yesterday by Duke University history professor, Laura F. Edwards. The Post maintains a paywall, so you may have trouble getting access to the entire essay right away, but Edwards’ central point is that the […]

Nevada, Virginia, Illinois sue to have ERA recognized as 28th amendment

BY: - January 31, 2020

Nevada is working alongside Virginia and Illinois to fight to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment becomes the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.  After Virginia recently voted to ratify the ERA, securing the required number of states needed for it to be adopted as a constitutional amendment, the National Archives and Records Administration said it would […]