Rank #1: Episode 2: White House Press Corps
What's it really like for a journalist stationed at the White House? We go inside the press briefing room with NPR's Senior White House Correspondent, Scott Horsley. Civics 101 is a production of NHPR www.nhpr.org #civics101pod
Jan 25 2017
Rank #2: Electoral College
When we vote for a president, we're not really voting for a president.
Today in our episode on the Electoral College, we explore the rationale of the framers in creating it, its workings, its celebrations, its critiques, and its potential future.
This episode features the voices of Northwestern Professor of political science Alvin Tillery, University of Texas Professor of political science Rebecca Deen, and former 'faithless elector' Christopher Suprun.
Nov 05 2019
Rank #3: Midterm Edition: House v Senate
Two houses, both alike in...well, many things. But oh so different in many others. We go from absolute basics to the philosophical differences that exist in the Legislative branch. This episode features the opinions of former staffers from both chambers, Political Science professors, and political analysts.
Also, Brady Carlson tells the tale of the biggest loss in midterm history, and its relation to a federal holiday.
Oct 16 2018
Rank #4: Founding Documents: Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. Why do we have one? What does it 'do'? And what does it really, really do?
Our guests are Linda Monk, Alvin Tillery, David O. Stewart, Woody Holton, David Bobb, and Chuck Taft. Visit our website, civics101podcast.org, where you can get Chuck's wonderful Bill of Rights SURVIVOR lesson plan, along with our favorite Bill of Rights resources.
Each Amendment could be (and has been) its own episode. Except maybe the Third Amendment. So if you don't know them by heart, take two minutes to watch this video.
Feb 26 2019
Rank #5: Episode 93: Welfare
Welfare is one of the nation's most contentious and least understood social programs. What began as support for single mothers and their children has throughout history been a target for stigmatization and budget cuts. Premilla Nadasen is author ofWelfare in The United States and she joined us to better understand the history and potential future of the program.
Jan 23 2018
Rank #6: Episode 3: The Comment Period
You've probably heard the term "comment period", but do you know what it means? What exactly happens when a government agency opens a proposed rule to public comment? And do these comments ever sway decision making? Today, a look into the notice and comment rule making procedure. Submit your questions at: www.civics101podcast.org #civics101pod
Jan 31 2017
Rank #7: Episode 118: Presidential Transitions
On today's episode: what happens when the incumbent president leaves office and the president-elect enters? How is information shared? What laws or guidelines govern the transition of power? We talked with Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, on the written and unwritten rules of presidential transitions. We also explore our own transition, as hosting duties for Civics 101 transition from Virginia Prescott to Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice.
Apr 24 2018
Rank #8: Episode 72: The 2nd Amendment
On today's episode: The Second Amendment. For ages, the right to bear arms was among the least controversial amendments in the U.S. Constitution. Today, it's among the most divisive issues in American politics. What were the Founders hoping to achieve in ratifying The Second Amendment? When did the U.S. start regulating guns? What qualifies as arms? We'll seek out constitutional consensus on a topic where common ground is hard to find. Our guest is Jeffrey Rosen, CEO and President of the National Constitution Center, and host of We the People.
Nov 07 2017
Rank #9: Episode 60: Federalism
On this episode: what is Federalism? Who uses it? Why do we separate our powers between the states and the national government, and what are the benefits and challenges of such a system? Our guest is John Dinan, professor at Wake Forest University and editor of Publius, the Journal of Federalism.
Sep 26 2017
Rank #10: The Affordable Care Act
On today's episode, we tackle a defining law from the Obama administration, the Affordable Care Act -- better known as Obamacare. Some people love it, others hate it, but what did the law really do? Is American health care actually more, you know, affordable? And why is there so much talk of repealing the ACA? Our guide today is Julie Rovner, Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News.
Jul 17 2018
Rank #11: Founding Documents: The Constitution
After just six years under the Articles of Confederation, a committee of anxious delegates agreed to meet in Philadelphia to amend the government. While the country suffered recession and rebellions, a group of fifty-five men determined the shape of the new United States. The document that emerged after that summer of debate was littered with strange ideas and unsavory concessions. The delegates decided they'd be pleased if this new government lasted fifty years. It has been our blueprint for over two centuries. This is the story of how our Constitution came to be.
Feb 12 2019
Rank #12: Episode 69: The Federalist Papers
On this episode: What are the Federalist Papers? Who wrote them? Who uses them? And why should you read them? Michael Gerhardt, professor from UNC and scholar-in-residence at the National Constitution Center, not only explains these invaluable documents to us, he breaks down some of the more notable essays.
Oct 27 2017
Rank #13: Primaries and Caucuses
It's one of the most democratic aspects of our nation, not to mention extremely recent. In this episode we explore the snarled history of how we select party nominees; from delegates to superdelegates, and from gymnasiums in Iowa to booths in New Hampshire.
This episode features political scientists Bruce Stinebrickner (DePauw University) and Alvin Tillery (Northwestern University), NPR's Domenico Montanarro, Iowa Public Radio's Kate Payne, and Lauren Chooljian from NHPR.
Sep 24 2019
Rank #14: Episode 109: The Fourth Amendment
When an ordinary citizen interacts with law enforcement, it can be unnerving to realize the amount of power an officer wields: they've got the guns, the handcuffs, and the authority. But the Fourth Amendment places limits on governmental and police power. What exactly are those limits, and have they changed in the 21st century?
Cynthia Lee is a professor at George Washington University Law School and author of Searches and Seizures: The Fourth Amendment.
Correction: Cynthia Lee has written one book on the topic of the Fourth Amendment, not several, as stated in the episode's introduction.
Mar 23 2018
Rank #15: Founding Documents: The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers
Ten days after the Constitution was signed at the Old Philadelphia State House, an anonymous op-ed appeared in the New York Journal. Signed by "Cato," it cautioned readers of the new Constitution to take it with a grain of salt. Even the wisest of men, it warned, can make mistakes. This launched a public debate that would last months, pitting pro-Constitution "Federalists" against Constitution-wary "Anti-Federalists." It was a battle for ratification, and it resulted in a glimpse into the minds of our Framers -- and a concession that would come to define American identity.
Feb 19 2019
Rank #16: Episode 4: How to Amend the Constitution
It’s been 25 years since the last constitutional amendment was ratified. How hard is it to change our most sacred document? We discover that there are not one, but two ways to amend the constitution – and one of them has never been used. Walter Olson, senior fellow of the Cato Institute explains that the founders didn’t exactly spell the process out clearly. #civics101pod
Feb 02 2017
Rank #17: Founding Documents: Declaration of Independence
America declared independence on July 2, 1776. But two days later it adopted this radical, revolutionary, inclusive, exclusive, secessionist, compromising, hypocritical, inspirational document. What does it say? What does it ignore?
This episode features many scholars with differing opinions on the Declaration: Danielle Allen, Byron Williams, Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Woody Holton, and Emma Bray.
Jan 29 2019
Rank #18: Episode 76: Native American Reservations
On this episode: What is a Native American reservation? What is a pueblo? What does it mean to be a sovereign nation? What is the relationship between reservations and the federal government? Can reservations pass laws that run up against state or federal statutes? How are, and were, reservations created? What does the Bureau of Indian Affairs actually do? Our guest is Maurice Crandall, assistant professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth, and a citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation of Camp Verde.
Nov 21 2017
Rank #19: Episode 91: The Two-Party System
There are lots of political parties in the United States - so how come we pretty much only hear about two? What is the 'two-party system' and why does it hold sway? Is it an intentional part of governmental design, or is this simply how history shook out? In this episode, we'll explore those questions, hear from an original member of a third party, and dig into something called Duverger's Law - which explains why two parties tend to dominate in American politics. Our guest is Civics 101 Senior Producer Taylor Quimby. This episode also features Hans Noel, political scientist at Georgetown University, and Lenny Brody, a member of the steering comittee at The Justice Party.
Jan 16 2018
Rank #20: Episode 102: The Fourteenth Amendment
Today, we continue our series on the Reconstruction amendments, the series of Constitutional amendments passed in the aftermath of the Civil War. Congress outlawed slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment, but freed slaves still were not legally citizens, were subject to discriminatory laws, and were not allowed to go to court.
The Fourteenth Amendment was intended to change all that, with some of the strongest civil-rights language in the Constitution. If you've heard of due process or equal protection under the law, you've heard of the Fourteenth. We talk to Ted Shaw, professor and director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill, and the former President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Feb 23 2018