Hacking The Constitution

The late justice Antonin Scalia boasted that his United States Constitution was definitively “dead.” But in a mixed-up political season, what if our founding document wants a new lease on life? And what if we brought it, as a flawed and fungible 200-year-old wonder, back into the conventional conversation again?

Scalia’s “originalist” literalism about a 225-year-old document made him a conservative force on the court — a kind of bad cop for a Constitution that is still cherished by its nation. But our guest, the law professor Sanford Levinson wants us to ask, in a chaotic political season, how is it that we still love the Constitution so much when we’ve long hated the government it produces? He’d argue that the time has come for a second Constitutional Convention, with a very full laundry list of structural changes:

With that in mind, we’ve convened a panel of our favorite lawyers: Lawrence Lessig, a former Scalia clerk and an advocate-turned-candidate against money in politics; Jedediah Purdy, of Duke, a philosopher of modernity and democracy along with a professor of law; and Katharine Young of Boston College, in the business of comparing the world’s constitutions with an eye toward improving them.

Guest List
Lawrence Lessig
Furman professor law at Harvard, former candidate for the Democratic nomination, and author of (most recently) Republic, Lost: Version 2.0.
Sandy Levinson
professor of law at University of Texas at Austin, and author (most recently) of An Argument Open To All: Reading "The Federalist" In The 21st Century.
Jedediah Purdy
philosopher, professor of law at Duke, and author of After Nature: A Politics For The Anthropocene.
Katharine Young
professor of law at Boston College, and author of Constituting Economic and Social Rights.

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