U.S. Constitution

Crime, Justice and Public Safety
5:24 am
Thu September 11, 2014

The Constitutional Right to Confront

Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines, May 17, 2013.
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.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

When Politics and Religion Meet

The phrase, separation of church and state, "doesn't clarify as much as it obscures," says Dennis Goldford of Drake University
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.

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Talk of Iowa
2:29 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Suing for Freedom

Above, these 51 Xs—some of which are repeated—are the signatures of the slaves upon their petitions for freedom filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court.
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. 

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River to River
2:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

The Passage of the 13th Amendment

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, in1863.
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.

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River to River
11:54 am
Thu July 18, 2013

A Listen Back to Politics and Religion

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.

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River to River
1:22 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

The Historical Accuracy of Spielberg's "Lincoln"

Official movie poster for the film, "Lincoln."
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.

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River to River
1:21 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Anniversary Of The U.S. Constitution And Iowa Branding

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.

River to River
11:21 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Patterns of the Iowa Supreme Court

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.