Ben and Joel are joined are joined by Sanford Levinson. He's a professor of law and political science at the University of Texas-Austin. He's a renowned authority on constitution law, whose books include "Wrestling with Diversity," Constitutional Faith, and "Our Undemocratic Constitution." His newest book is something of a sequel to that last title: "Framed! America's 51 Constitutions And The Crisis Of Governance" is from Oxford University Press.
Questions pondered in this podcast:
• Does the Constitution deserve our reverence?
• Are we having the wrong Constitutional debates? Does the Constitution approved in 1787 make sense for the United States today?
• What lessons from state and foreign constitutions might apply to the American version?
• Does the example of California warn against incorporating "direct democracy" into the national constitution?
• What is signified by Congress's perennially low approval ratings?
• Does the existence of the Republican and Democratic parties eliminate the need for so many checks and balances? Or does the structure of government encourage obstructionism?
• Do we need another Constitutional Convention?
• Is there enough trust left in American society for such a convention?
Music heard in this podcast: The Beastie Boys.