Topics Include the Constitutional Stakes of Clinton v. Trump, the Media's Role in the 2016 Election, the Constitutional Legacy of President Obama, and a Historical Look at Black Lives Matter

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 30, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Constitution Center today announced the fall 2016 lineup for its popular America's Town Hall series of constitutional conversations and debates. This season's lineup will explore the constitutional issues raised in the 2016 presidential election, including a comparison of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's positions on the Constitution, a discussion about the tensions between populism and constitutionalism, and "The Day After," an analysis of the media's role in the 2016 election the day after Election Day. Programs will also examine the constitutional legacy of President Obama and take a historical look at the Black Lives Matter movement. Guest speakers include journalists Jonathan Chait, David French, Linda Greenhouse and Ramesh Ponnuru and Harvard Law School scholars Randall Kennedy and Michael Klarman.

The Constitution Center will once again take America's Town Hall on the road nationwide, hosting debates in Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York exploring the constitutionality of voter ID laws, gerrymandering, and whether to call a constitutional convention.
The season will culminate with a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C., part of the Constitution Center's Second Founding Initiative. Supervised by an advisory board chaired by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the initiative celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Reconstruction Amendments over the next five years. 
The National Constitution Center's America's Town Hall series features distinguished leaders, scholars, authors, and journalists who speak on the most significant constitutional topics of our time. Many of the National Constitution Center's America's Town Hall programs are free and reservations are recommended as programs fill quickly. To make a reservation call 215-409-6700 or visit
Please see below for a complete list of America's Town Hall fall programming at the National Constitution Center, followed by the nationwide locations and dates for the traveling America's Town Hall series.
America's Town Hall at the National Constitution Center:
Alberto Gonzales: 9/11 from Inside the White House
6:30 p.m., Thursday, September 8, 2016
$10 Members, teachers & students • $15 Non-members • Free for 1787 Members
The Constitution Center's fall season kicks off with Alberto Gonzales, former U.S. attorney general and counsel to President George W. Bush, who will share never-before-told stories behind the controversial decisions made during the crucible of the 9/11 attacks. Includes book sale. Presented in partnership with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
Mark Thompson: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?
2 p.m., Friday, September 16, 2016
Free (Includes all Constitution Day observed programming)
New York Times Company CEO Mark Thompson provides a wide-ranging, provocative examination of free speech and political rhetoric — from FDR and Churchill to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Includes book sale.
*Visit for the full schedule of programming.
The Nixon Court and the Rise of Judicial Conservatism
12 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Pulitzer Prize-winning Supreme Court journalist Linda Greenhouse and Rutgers University School of Law professor Earl Maltz return to the Warren Burger Court years for a look at the rise of the conservative court that still defines the constitutional landscape we live in today. Includes book sale.
Timothy Garton Ash: Ten Free Speech Principles for a Connected World
12 p.m., Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Internationally acclaimed political writer and Guardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash will discuss his new book, Free Speech — hitting on controversies abroad from censorship in China to Charlie Hebdo. Includes book sale.
The Reluctant Statesman: George Mason and the American Tradition of Dissent
12 – 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Acclaimed historians Linda Monk, Stephen Solomon, David O. Stewart, Ralph Young, and others discuss George Mason — one of the three dissenters of the Constitution — and the role dissent has played in shaping America. Presented in partnership with George Mason's Gunston Hall.
Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump: The Constitutional Stakes
6:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 11, 2016
$10 Members, teachers & students • $15 Non-members • Free for 1787 Members
Conservative and liberal analysts discuss how the two leading presidential candidates interpret the Constitution and where they stand on the most important constitutional questions facing America today.
David Barron: The Clash between the President and Congress, 1776 to ISIS
12 p.m., Monday, October 17, 2016
First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron traces the ongoing struggle between America's presidents and Congress over who has the power to declare and wage war as described in his new book, Waging War. Includes book sale.
The Supreme Court in Transition: A View from the Frontlines
12 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Top legal journalists — Robert Barnes, Lincoln Caplan, and Marcia Coyle — examine the state of a 4-4 Supreme Court in transition and look forward to the differences between a Clinton Court and a Trump Court. Includes book sale.
A Declaration of Life and Liberty
2:30 p.m., Thursday, November 3, 2016
The Declaration of Independence asserts a right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." But what did the Founders believe to be linked in the ideas of life and liberty? Distinguished speakers come together for a daylong symposium exploring the Declaration's promise. Presented in partnership with the Jack Miller Center.
The Day After: Analyzing the Media's Role in the 2016 Election
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 9, 2016
$10 Members, teachers & students • $15 Non-members • Free for 1787 Members
A day after the votes have been tallied, Todd Brewster of Temple University sits down with Dylan Byers, senior reporter at CNN, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Bryan Monroe, former editor of, and other journalism watchers to discuss the performance of the Fourth Estate in the 2016 presidential election. Presented in partnership with Temple University.
Rethinking America's Founding
12 p.m., Monday, November 14, 2016
Michael Klarman, Harvard Law professor and author of The Framers' Coup, and Patrick Spero, director of the American Philosophical Society and editor of The American Revolution Reborn, discuss their new books, putting a human face on America's Framers and reassessing the clashes that helped define the Founding era. Includes book sale.
The State of Campus Free Speech
7 p.m., Thursday, November 17, 2016
Scholars and activists from all sides of the debate explore the current challenges around free speech on U.S. university campuses. Presented in partnership with PEN America.
Robert Strauss: America's Worst Presidents
12 p.m., Monday, November 28, 2016
Michael Gerhardt, the National Constitution Center's scholar-in-residence, and Robert Strauss, author of Worst. President. Ever., offer an enlightening — and highly entertaining — account of James Buchanan's presidency and explain how historians rank presidents over time. Includes book sale.
The Constitutional Legacy of President Obama
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Free for 1787 Members • $10 Members, teachers & students • $50 Non-members (*Includes an Individual Patriot Membership)
As Obama's presidency shifts from headlines to history, what will be remembered most? Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, Michael Days of the Philadelphia Daily News, and David French and Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review explore the president's constitutional legacy. Includes book sale.
Black Lives Matter: The Next Civil Rights Movement?
6:30 p.m., Monday, December 5, 2016
$10 Members, teachers & students • $15 Non-members • Free for 1787 Members
Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law professor and leading scholar on race, and others explore the history of Black Lives Matter and its parallels with past civil rights movements.
Populism, Demagogues, and Constitutional Democracy
12 p.m., Thursday, December 8, 2016
Many voters across America and around the world are frustrated with establishment politics. Foreign policy expert Robert Kagan, historian Michael Kazin, and law professor John Yoo explore whether the rising tide of populism is a threat to constitutional values.
Bill of Rights Day
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Thursday, December 15, 2016
$5 (Includes museum admission and access to all Bill of Rights Day programming)
On the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, the Center hosts its annual book festival featuring four back-to-back discussions with constitutional expert Akhil Reed Amar and other acclaimed authors.  *Seating is limited. Advanced registration is highly recommended.
Traveling America's Town Hall Programs – taking the National Constitution Center's conversations and debates across America.
Hamilton v. Jefferson: A Clash of Constitutional Visions in Washington's Cabinet
7 p.m., Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – George Washington's Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA
Presented in partnership with The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
Resolved: State Voter ID Laws Are Unconstitutional
6 p.m., Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Presented in partnership with The Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society.
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate: Gerrymandering Has Destroyed the Political Center
6 p.m., Monday, November 14, 2016 – George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates.
The 14th Amendment at 150: Liberty and Equality, Yesterday and Today
7 p.m., Thursday, December 1, 2016 – National Archives Museum, Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities. Presented in partnership with the Constitutional Accountability Center.
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate: Call a Convention to Amend the Constitution
6:45 p.m., Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Kaufman Music Center, New York, NY
Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates.
The National Constitution Center's onsite Town Hall programs are generously supported by the Paul S. Levy Programming Fund.
The National Constitution Center's traveling Town Hall debates also receive support from a multi-year, multi-project $5.5 million grant awarded from the John Templeton Foundation to increase awareness of the rights established by the U.S. Constitution and founding documents.
About the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires active citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America's leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its Congressional charter "to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a non-partisan basis." As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America's Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a center for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit


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