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Sanford V. Levinson

  • W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair; Professor of Government


  • JD Stanford
  • PhD Harvard
  • AB Duke University

Areas of Specialty

Sanford Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, joined the University of Texas Law School in 1980. Previously a member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, he is also a Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas. The author of approximately 400 articles, book reviews, or commentaries in professional and popular journals--and a regular contributor to the popular blog Balkinization--Levinson is also the author of four books: Constitutional Faith (1988, winner of the Scribes Award); Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies (1998); Wrestling With Diversity (2003); and, most recently, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It)(2006); and, most recently, Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance (2012). The Yale University Press will be publishing in 2015 a collection of 85 short essays on each of the 85 Federalist papers. Edited or co-edited books include a leading constitutional law casebook, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (5th ed. 2006, with Paul Brest, Jack Balkin, Akhil Amar, and Reva Siegel); Reading Law and Literature: A Hermeneutic Reader (1988, with Steven Mallioux); Responding to Imperfection: The Theory and Practice of Constitutional Amendment (1995); Constitutional Stupidities, Constitutional Tragedies (1998, with William Eskridge); Legal Canons (2000, with Jack Balkin); The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion (2005, with Batholomew Sparrow); and Torture: A Collection (2004, revised paperback edition, 2006), which includes reflections on the morality, law, and politics of torture from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, as well as a forthcoming volume of essays to be published by the University of Kansas Press on "neo-nullificationism and -secessionism" in contemporary political and constitutional thought. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association in 2010.

He has been a visiting faculty member of the Boston University, Georgetown, Harvard, New York University, and Yale law schools in the United States and has taught abroad in programs of law in London; Paris; Jerusalem; Auckland, New Zealand; and Melbourne, Australia. He was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1985-86 and a Member of the Ethics in the Professions Program at Harvard in 1991-92. He is also affiliated with the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jewish Philosophy in Jerusalem. A member of the American Law Institute, Levinson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. He is married to Cynthia Y. Levinson, a writer of children's literature, and has two children, Meira, a member of the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (after teaching in the Atlanta and Boston public school systems), and Rachel, a lawyer with the Brennan Center in Washington, D.C.

Recent Publications

  • State Constitutions as Artifacts of Experimentations, 44 Rutgers Law Journal 579 (2014)
  • “Who Counts?” “Sez Who?” [Childress Lecture], 58 Saint Louis University Law Journal 937 (2014).
  • Popular Sovereignty and the United States Constitution: Tensions in the Ackermanian Program, 123 Yale Law Journal 2644 (2014).

Full list of publications…

Recent Activities

  • Co-Organizer


    Conference on Federalism and Its Future

    Co-Organizer, Conference on Federalism and Its Future (with Sanford Levinson and Daniel Rodriguez), February 2011.

Full activities list…

Contact Information

Sanford V. Levinson

Work (512) 232-1351

Fax (512) 471-6988

Office: JON 6.243
The University of Texas at Austin
727 E Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705

Faculty Assistant

Patricia N. Do
(512) 232-4860

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