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In-Depth Interview: Co-Authors Cynthia and Sanford Levinson Love the Constitution So Much, They Want to Fix It

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The Levinsons have just published an updated edition of Faultlines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today. We have a lively discussion about Gerrymandering, the Census case, impeachment and other current issues.Sanford (Sandy) Levinson is a respected law professor at the University of Texas, holding degrees from Duke, Stanford and Harvard.  His wife and co-author, Cynthia Levinson, is a teacher and educational policy consultant who’s written several books for young people.  Together, they wrote Faultlines for people of all ages who want to know about our Constitution and its history.

We open with a discussion of their book, which has been updated with new chapters about presidential pardons and executive power.  Then we talk about the implications of recent Supreme Court decisions on partisan Gerrymandering (Sandy pronounces it correctly, with a hard “G”) and the proposal to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census.  Sandy promotes his ideas of proportional representation for the House of Representatives, which would reduce the power of the two dominant political parties.

We also discuss the unusual July decision by SCOTUS which used the technical issue of “standing” to defer a decision on the merits of Donald Trump’s effort to claim an emergency and divert Pentagon funds to build part of a border wall.  And we talk about impeachment, which Sandy regards as a failed mechanism–he prefers the model of California’s recall process to remove a “lout” from office.

To get the latest commentary on current constitutional issues, follow the Levinsons’ blog here.