Video: Sanford Levinson

The Inevitable Consequences of Change

Filmed on October 24, 2014, at “Gain: AIGA Design and Business Conference

About this video

What’s the sell-by date for a constitution? In a country with one of the oldest constitutions in the world, are we right to assume that decisions made in 1787 should last forever, with only minor tweaks in the form of amendments? And if we were to redesign the U.S. Constitution, how would we begin? Whose politics would it reflect? Founding Father Alexander Hamilton denounced the system established by the Articles of Confederation as “imbecilic.” Is he right, and if so, how should we respond?

Speaker bio

Sanford Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. centennial chair in law, joined the University of Texas Law School in 1980. Previously a member of the department of politics at Princeton University, he’s currently a professor in the department of government at the University of Texas and a visiting professor of law this semester at the Harvard and Yale Law Schools. The author of approximately 400 articles, book reviews and commentaries in professional and popular journals, his most recent book is Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance (2012).

Other publications include Wrestling With Diversity (2003), Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It) (2006) anda forthcoming book tentatively titled Reading the Federalist in the 21st Century: 85 Essays (2015), among others.

Levinson is a frequent contributor to the legal blog Balkinization and to Al Jazeera online. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association in 2010 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.