Your Weekly Constitutional on RADIO IQ

Sundays at 7:00 pm on RADIO IQ
Stewart Harris

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the Constitution these days. But how many of these people have any idea what they're talking about? How many have even read the Constitution? Well, we have. Our host, Stewart Harris, is an award-winning teacher of Constitutional Law, and he loves to talk about interesting constitutional issues, from gay rights to gun rights, in a balanced, nonpartisan way. Underwritten by the home of the Father of the Constitution, James Madison's Montpelier, Your Weekly Constitutional is a lively, thoughtful program produced by Harris Productions, LLC at NPR affiliate WETS 89.5-FM. Professor Harris interviews intriguing people--lawyers, authors, activists, even an occasional governor or U.S. Senator--to produce fascinating facts, stories and analysis. Add some shorter features like the Constitutional Quiz and the Madison Minute, and you get a show with thousands of fans all over the world, from Massachusetts to Madagascar.

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Program Headlines

  • Friday, July 25, 2014 12:09pm
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    Dolly Parton! Whaa? It turns out that the country music superstar is a high school friend of the Chief Justice of Tennessee. His name is Gary Wade, and he tells us some fascinating stories about how he became the highest judicial officer in his state, what his job entails, and how he now faces a coordinated political attempt to have him removed from the bench, along with two of his Supreme Court colleagues. On a happier note, he also tells us some great stories about his high-school friend and "television girlfriend," Dolly Parton. Do you know, for example, what instrument Dolly played in the Sevier County High School Band? Hint: it wasn't the flute. But you'll have to listen in to find out more.
  • Friday, July 18, 2014 8:13am
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    Cloaks and daggers? Old news. Now it's keypads and iPads and other high-tech spying. The United States and China both do it. But they do it differently - or so they say. Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, the Director of the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies, tells us all about this secret struggle for security supremacy.
  • Friday, July 11, 2014 10:14am
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    Here's the latest in our series about the judiciary. This time we speak with the kind of judge you are most likely to encounter if ever you find yourself in court: a trial judge. His name is Thomas Seeley, Jr., and he hears all types of civil cases in his courtroom in Johnson City, Tennessee. As you might expect, he's got lots of interesting stuff to say. After Judge Seeley, we get in the car and drive down to North Carolina to visit the remarkable Grove Park Inn, a five-star resort frequented by Presidents and foreign diplomats and, perhaps, by another group of people you've heard of: the United States Supreme Court. Tracey Johnston-Crum, the Inn's resident historian, tells us all about a secret contract with the Court that provides that . . . well, you'll just have to listen in to find out.
  • Friday, July 4, 2014 1:39pm
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    The Good News Club is an after-school program run by evangelical Christians. A few years back, the Supreme Court ruled that public schools who had denied access to the Club for fear of violating the Establishment Clause had actually violated another part of the First Amendment, the Speech Clause. In essence, the Court said that all groups, religious and non-religious, were constitutionally entitled to equal access to public facilities - otherwise, the government would be regulating their speech based upon its content. Author and journalist Katherine Stewart thinks that the Supreme Court got it wrong: the Good News Club, or rather, the public schools that now allow it on campus, are indeed violating the Establishment Clause, she believes. And whether you agree with her or not, she makes some interesting arguments and tells a compelling story.
  • Friday, June 27, 2014 7:40am
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    Love him or hate him (and, either way, you have lots of company) Ronald Reagan was, and continues to be, an important figure in American constitutional history. We'll speak with Justin Garrison, a professor at Roanoke College in Virginia, who's written a balanced, fascinating, readable book called "An Empire of Ideals: the Chimeric Imagination of Ronald Reagan." Justin is that rare scholar who not only writes well, but also speaks well. He's even funny and charming - kinda like Ronald Reagan was. Justin's book is available here: