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July 3, 2007

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu

Professor Sanford Levinson Discusses Our Undemocratic Constitution at Barnes & Noble Westlake, July 7

Cover of the book

AUSTIN, Texas — Professor Sanford Levinson, who teaches law and government at The University of Texas at Austin, will discuss his latest book, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Begin Correcting It), at Barnes & Noble Westlake on Saturday, July 7, at 4 p.m.

Levinson will discuss the book, which takes a hard look at the Constitution and examines its weaknesses, as part of the book store’s Discovery Speaker Series. After the discussion, the author will sign copies of his books. The talk is free and open to the public.

Barnes & Noble Westlake is located in Austin, Texas, within The Village at Westlake shopping center at the intersection of Bee Cave Road and Loop 360.

About the Book:

In Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It), Sanford Levinson argues that too many of its provisions promote either unjust or ineffective government. Under the existing blueprint, we can neither rid ourselves of incompetent presidents nor assure continuity of government following catastrophic attacks. Also problematic is the appointment of Supreme Court judges for life. Adding insult to injury, the United States Constitution is the most difficult to amend or update of any constitution currently existing in the world today.

Our Undemocratic Constitution boldly challenges the American people to undertake a long overdue public discussion on how they might best reform this most hallowed document and construct a constitution adequate to our democratic values.

Walter Dellinger, chair of the appellate practice at O’Melveny & Myers, a law professor at Duke University and a former acting Solicitor General of the United States, said about the author and the book: “Sanford Levinson is the most imaginative, innovative and provocative constitutional scholar of our time. His new, sharp critique of the Constitution makes for bracing reading and forces us to confront what we really think of the Constitution. Every American needs to read this book and see if he or she agrees with Levinson that it is necessary to abandon the Framer’s work and adopt a fundamentally new system of government. This work cannot be ignored.”

Levinson’s book was published in the fall of 2006 by Oxford University Press. For more about Our Undemocratic Constitution go to: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/slevinson/undemocratic/.

About Sanford Levinson:

Sanford Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, joined The University of Texas School of Law 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 more than 250 articles and book reviews in professional and popular journals, 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).

His 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.

Professor Levinson will be a visiting professor of law at Harvard University during the fall of 2007.

Related Links:

About Professor Levinson:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/slevinson/

Ideas: Sanford Levinson calls for the abolition of the vice presidency in The Boston Globe:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2007/070307_levinson.html

Professor Levinson Receives Highest U.S. Academic Honor:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2001/honor.html