Constitution

U.S. National Archieves

In one of its last rulings of the 2014-2015 term, the Iowa Supreme Court says a locked safe in the car of an arrested driver cannot be searched without a warrant.

During a December 2012 traffic stop, a Davenport police officer found a partially smoked blunt. The driver Jesse Gaskins was arrested, handcuffed and placed in a police cruiser.

The officer then searched the vehicle, which police can do if there is probable cause of criminal activity. During the search the officer found a small, portable safe in the passenger compartment.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today remote, two-way video testimony is an inadequate substitute for live, in-person testimony. 

John Pemble

Tonight, the Iowa Supreme Court will consider the question, “Do witnesses in criminal trials need to testify in person? Or is remote, two-way video testimony just as affective?

The state of Iowa claims two-way remote video testimony is just as effective as in-person testimony. Additionally, video testimony is less expensive and less time consuming, and therefore there is large incentive to use remote video testimony more extensively.

Iowa State Fair

Last year at the Iowa State Fair, Jason Powell of Des Moines said his free speech rights were violated after security guards ordered him to stop preaching on public sidewalks. Today on River to River, we find out the status of his lawsuit as well as whether he will be allowed at this year’s fair. We also find out about an Iowa developed vaccine that could cure dust-mite allergies. That and all the week’s Iowa stories on a news buzz edition of River to River.

Wyoming_Jackrabbit / flickr

State money is helping to build a new Christian park in Sioux City. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a Satanic statue will be erected outside a courthouse, next to the Ten Commandments.

Lea VanderVelde

In 1857 the Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that a slave could not sue for his freedom. Many call this ruling the worst Supreme Court decision of all time. 

Alexander Gardner / Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's conversation with Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz explains the story behind the passage of the 13th Amendment which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude.

William & Mary ACS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 term started this month and after last year’s series of surprising and tumultuous rulings eyes again are trained on the nation’s highest court.

Gerry Chamberlin

In 1965, 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker arrived at her Des Moines junior high wearing a black armband to protest the Vietnam War.  Little did she know that this simple act would lead to a historic and controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision.

A Listen Back to Politics and Religion

Jul 18, 2013
Baylor University Press

A listen back to a riveting River to River from the 2012 election season. 

The U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and the true meaning of those words can evoke discord still today.

DonTaylor50 / Flickr

The U.S.

John Pemble

As our nation's Supreme Court considers two major cases concerning same-sex marriage this week, the Iowa Supreme Court is also grappling with major issues that will affect how Iowans live, love and work.  Today on "River to River" we'll talk about four high-profile cases this session before Iowa's Supreme Court with University of Iowa Law School professors Song Richardson and Todd Pettys as well as legal blogger and litigator Ryan Koopmans.

Touchstone Pictures

The passage of the 13th Amendment which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude almost didn’t pass. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with historian Thomas Schwartz, one of the foremost experts on the Abraham Lincoln.

This week people across Iowa are recognizing the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution during this year’s national observance of “Constitution Week”. Historian David Wendell talks with Ben Kieffer about constitutional issues 225 years ago and their prevalence today. Then, the mayor of Hampton, Iowa, discusses his efforts in organizing “Libertyfest”, a week long celebration of the constitution and the founding fathers who established it.

Politics and Religion

Aug 22, 2012

The U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and the true meaning of those words can evoke discord still today.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Dennis Goldford, author and professor of politics at Drake University, about religion, which he tackles in his new book "The Constitution of Religious Freedom: God, Politics and the First Amendment."

Then, we look at religion's role in the 2012 election.

On today's "River to River", we take look at the inner workings of the Iowa Supreme Court -  including patterns emerging that provide clues as to how individual judges view issues before the court.  Katherine talks with Des Moines attorney Ryan Koopmans who’s analyzed Iowa Supreme Court Decisions over the past year. Later, host Ben Kieffer talks with author and historian Lawrence Goldstone. Goldstone has studied the U.S. Supreme Court and its interpretation of several amendments to the Constitution.