News and Events
Constitutional Scholar Akhil Amar Presents “America’s Unwritten Constitution”
In honor of the 225th anniversary of our nation's written Constitution, Pepperdine School of Law will host renowned constitutional scholar and D & L Straus Distinguished Visiting Professor Akhil Reed Amar for a discussion of his latest treatise on Constitutional Law, America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By.
The event will take place Monday, Aug. 27, at 4 p.m. in the Henry J. and Gloria Caruso Auditorium, School of Law, Malibu. A reception and book signing will follow in the Law School's Smith Atrium.
In America's Unwritten Constitution, Amar explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape our interpretations of this foundational document. Despite their venerated place in American history, the US Constitution and its amendments do not enumerate all of the various rules and rights, principles and procedures that guide America's political system.
Amar demonstrates that in order to properly interpret the Constitution, we have to look beyond it: to precedents set by our founding fathers; to common practices and court doctrine; and to sources like the Federalist Papers and Gettysburg Address--documents, symbols, and standards that together form a comprehensive, adaptable, "unwritten" Constitution. In this sequel to America's Constitution: A Biography, Amar presents a bold new vision of the American constitutional system, showing how the complementary relationship between the Constitution's written and unwritten components is one of America's greatest and most enduring strengths.
Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. He also serves as a visiting professor at Pepperdine Law teaching Advanced Constitutional Law: Reading the Constitution.
He received his B.A., summa cum laude, in 1980 from Yale College, and his J.D. in 1984 from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of The Yale Law Journal. After clerking for Judge Stephen Breyer, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985. Along with dean Paul Brest and professors Sanford Levinson, Jack Balkin, and Reva Siegel, Amar is the coeditor of a leading constitutional law casebook, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking.