Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Akhil Amar ’84 Authors Book of Essays on the Constitution and the States

Sterling Professor of Law Akhil Reed Amar ’84 has written a book of essays, The Law of the Land (Basic Books, April 14, 2015), on the difference states make on American jurisprudence. Although the United States has one Constitution, each state has its own laws and culture. These geographic and regional differences have impacted the nation throughout history. Amar’s writing gives a view of the historical roots of, and contemporary solutions to, many important constitutional questions.

The three sections of the book focus on constitutional interpreters, constitutional cases, and constitutional provisions and principles. Each of the twelve essays in the book looks at a different state, from Massachusetts and Wyoming to Texas and Alabama. In Florida, Amar breaks down the Bush v. Gore decision, with attention paid to Florida law and the Florida Constitution. In New York, the author looks at Robert Jackson and the Judiciary.

Akhil Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. After clerking for Judge Stephen Breyer, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, Professor Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985. Along with Dean Paul Brest and Professors Sanford Levinson, Jack Balkin, and Reva Siegel, Amar is the co-editor of a leading constitutional law casebook, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking. He is also the author of several other books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles (Yale Univ. Press, 1997), The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House, 2005), and most recently, America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012).