America’s Unwritten Constitution

October 29th, 2012

Perhaps more than at any other time in the history of the world, democracy is on the march. But the idea that people, individual citizens could engage in the practice of self government wasn't always so. In fact, it was only with the creation of our constitution, launched 225 years ago, that the idea was even appropriately articulated.

But that constitution as brilliant and profound and clever as it was, was not the be all and end all of democracy. It was a starting point from which we would develop laws, establish precedent, and nourish institutions which would provide the foundations of self government. Those things have grown to become, what Akhil Amar, the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale, calls America's Unwritten Constitution.
My conversation with Akhil Amar:

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