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Constitution
  • Mississippi Absolutely Positively Ratifies Slavery Ban

    Better 148 years late then never, the state of Mississippi has finally ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, thanks in part to the work of an immigrant doctor inspired by the movie Lincoln.

    According to the Clarion-Ledger, Dr. Ranjan Batra sat down to do some post-Lincoln Internet research, only to discover that Mississippi never officially ratified the 13th Amendment because of a clerical oversight.

    In fact, both chambers of the Mississippi legislature had voted in favor of ratification in 1995, but the Secretary of State never filed the paperwork with the federal government, until Dr. Batra and another civic-minded citizen pointed out the error earlier this month…

    On Feb. 7, Charles A. Barth, director of the Federal Register, wrote back that he had received the resolution: "With this action, the State of Mississippi has ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."

    Watch out, America! Mississippi has stepped boldly into the 1870s and there's almost nothing it can't do now, unless that thing involves timely execution of basic government functions.

    Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Constitution, Mississippi, Movies, Slavery
  • The Daily Show Correspondents Explain Constitutional Amendments

    "Four score and seven years ago, Jesus descended from the mountaintop carrying the Constitutional Amendments carved in stone, and He said unto George Washington, 'Taketh this completely uninhabited great nation, with its purple mountains majesty and its rockets' red glare, and let the free market flourish from sea to shining sea. Amen.' " — The United States Constitution, Chapter 3, Page 47

    The First Amendment

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    More amendments explained after the jump.

    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11/10c.

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    Tags: Aasif Mandvi, Al Madrigal, Bill of Rights, Constitution, Jason Jones, Jessica Williams, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, TDS Correspondents Explain, Wyatt Cenac
  • Newt Gingrich Newsletter Predicts Third Obama Term

    Bad things happen when you apply the principles that govern your romantic relationships to your subscription email list. Since Newt Gingrich has decided that his listserv, Gingrich Marketplace, will have an open relationship with whoever wants to buy its services, the newsletter is sometimes errantly thrown open to cranks

    "The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It's nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president," advertiser Porter Stansberry wrote in the email to Gingrich supporters. "What's actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term."

    Conservative news group Human Events manages the Gingrich Marketplace emails, but Gingrich has a say over which advertisers can have their messages go out to the list. And according to Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, Stansberry & Associates should have been on the blacklist.

    I'm glad this email wasn't approved by Gingrich. For as long as it's possible, I'm going to imagine that he's avoiding politics and instead traveling around the Sandy-devastated areas of the northeast, providing zoo animals with care and comfort.

    As for Barack Obama suspending the Constitution and running again in 2016, that event is still much less likely than Mitt Romney winning a third Bush term this year.

    Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Barack Obama, Constitution, Newt Gingrich
  • Should Non-Swing State Voters Be Forced to Care?

    Rep. Steve Israel is proposing a new amendment which could very well infringe upon non-swing state voters' Constitutional right to blissfully go about our business on Election Day without having to bother ourselves with the tediousness of waiting in line to vote or paying attention to the issues

    The head of the House Democratic campaign arm this week proposed a Constitutional amendment that would give the winner of the popular vote in the presidential race an additional 29 electoral votes.

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    Tags: Constitution, Electoral College
  • Missouri Voters Finally Continue to Have "Right to Pray" in Public

    Finally! After years and years of being allowed to pray at home, at work, at school, in the public square on television, the good God-fearing people of Missouri went to the polls and finally gave themselves the right to continue expressing their religious faith to their heart's content

    The so-called "right to pray" amendment to the Missouri Constitution passed by the kind of margin rarely seen in election referendums…

    "Missourians have affirmed the right to pray in public places and repudiated religious intolerance," said Mike Hoey, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, as early returns showed the measure winning by a sevenfold advantage…

    Opponents of the amendment have said Amendment 2's religious protections are already guaranteed by the state Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.

    It must feel so nice — after all of these years of being encouraged by society to make their religious faith loudly public and grandstandingly large — to let down your hair and behave just like you did yesterday and the day before.

    Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images


    Tags: Bill of Rights, Constitution, Missouri, Religion