By Laurean Love
Akhil Reed Amar captivated several hundred people packed in Waco Hall Monday evening with the discussion of our constitutional privileges through his recent book, “America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By.”
“The world we live in changed dramatically,” Amar said. “Because we the people, 225 years ago today, began having this conversation about how ordinary people lived their lives.”
Monday marked the 225th anniversary of Constitution Day, the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution. In honor of Constitution Day, President Ken Starr welcomed Amar for an engaging conversation about the country and important issues facing our nation.
Amar spoke about the rights that aren’t written in the constitution; the rights that are sometimes take advantage of, for example, choosing to play the fiddle and how to raise our kids.
“The world today has become far more American than ever before,” Amar said.
Amar explained that ‘We The People’ has means what it does today because of the added amendments allowing women and African-Americans to be included.
Amar is a Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, teaching constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. Amar graduated from Yale College (Bachelor of Arts 1980) and Yale Law School (Juris Doctor 1984).
“The ultimate laurel at Baylor is to be a master teacher and at Yale, is to be a Sterling teacher, and Akhil is one of the handful of teachers chosen,” Starr said, as the crowd broke into applause.
Topics of Monday’s event included: the history behind the Constitution, how other historical documents have influenced the understanding of the Constitution, and the resoluteness of the nation’s founding document.
Our Constitution has rarely been amended in the past 225 years, but events such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has influenced the interpretation of the document.
Amar was the fourth in Starr’s “On Topic” series of discussions with prominent public figures. Past guests have included the first female U.S. Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor; former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; and oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens.