Akhil Reed Amar: "America's Unwritten Constitution"

Constitution of the United States
 - Photo courtesy National Archives

Constitution of the United States

Photo courtesy National Archives

Akhil Reed Amar: "America's Unwritten Constitution"

Yale Law School Professor Akhil Reed Amar argues the U.S. Constitution is just a sketch of basic rules for governing America. Join us to discuss the vast trove of values, precedents and practices outside the document that he argues complement and complete its terse text.

This month marks the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. Considered the “Supreme Law of the Land,” this document established America’s national government and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens. In a new book, a leading scholar on constitutional law celebrates this venerated text but says we must go beyond it to fully understand it. He argues there are common values and practices absent from the Constitution that help govern today’s society. As part of our ongoing “Constitution Today” series, Diane talks with Akhil Reed Amar about the unwritten principles that guide the interpretation of our founding document.

Guests

Akhil Reed Amar

professor of law and political Science at Yale University, periodically a visiting professor at Harvard, Columbia and Pepperdine Law Schools and author of four books, including "America’s Constitution."

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted with permission from America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By, by Akhil Reed Amar. Available from Basic Books, a member of The Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012.

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.