The 2018 Clifford Scott Green Lecture
The Constitution Today
Presented By Akhil Reed Amar
April 2, 2018 | 4:00 PM
Duane Morris LLP Moot Court Room
Klein Hall • Temple University Beasley School of Law
For the first time in our lifetime-and for one of the few times in modern history-all four major federal institutions of power were in play in the last election. When the two national conventions met in 2016, Democrats had a real chance to win control of the House, Senate, Presidency, and Supreme Court. Instead, the Republicans swept the field and now control all four institutions, even though Donald Trump lost the (legally irrelevant) national popular presidential vote. In this talk, based in part on his recently released book, The Constitution Today, Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar will discuss the constitutional significance of all this and will touch upon a wide range of modern cases and controversies-from gun control to gay rights, from the electoral college to campaign finance to filibuster reform. Come prepared to ask any question you like about America’s constitutional system-past, present, and future.
Akhil Reed Amar
Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science
Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale College, summa cum laude, in 1980 and from Yale Law School in 1984, and clerking for then Judge (now Justice) Stephen Breyer, Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985 at the age of 26. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in more than 30 cases—tops in his generation. He has regularly testified before Congress at the invitation of both parties; and in various comprehensive surveys of judicial citations and/or scholarly citations, he invariably ranks among America’s five most-cited legal scholars under age sixty. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 he received the DeVane Medal—Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence. He has written widely for popular publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate. He was an informal consultant to the popular TV show, The West Wing, and his work has been showcased on more recent TV shows such as The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose, and The O’Reilly Factor. Professor Amar is the author of dozens of law review articles and several books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles (Yale Univ. Press, 1997), The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998—winner of the YUP Governors’ Award), America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House, 2005—winner of the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award), America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012—named one of the 100 best nonfiction books of the year by The Washington Post), and The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic (Basic Books, 2015). His newest book, The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era, was published in September 2016 and was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of the year by Time magazine. In February 2017 he received the American Bar Foundation’s annual Outstanding Scholar Award, and in April 2017 he received the Howard R. Lamar Award for distinguished service to Yale alumni.