Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Professor Amar Launches Podcast on Constitutional Issues

A new podcast created by Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’84 offers weekly discussions delving into pressing and relevant constitutional issues of the current moment. Amarica’s Constitution, cohosted with Andy Lipka M.D., ’78 YC, dissects current constitutional disputes and predicaments to educate and inform listeners on the political and social ramifications of government action during certain “windows of vulnerability.”

Amar podcastThe first episode, taped on January 7, 2021, in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol, was meant to be recorded on a day “that we could [collectively] exhale; where a period of uncertainty would be replaced with a degree of certainty after the Congress would…[officially] note the votes of the Electoral College,” and call the presidential election for Joe Biden. The historic interruption of the ratification process raises the following constitutional questions, according to Amar: “What were those uncertainties [people were worried about], what could happen, and why could they happen?”

Using historic and pop culture references from his experience as a young boy witnessing the broadcast of JFK’s assassination to his time consulting for the writers’ room on the popular show, The West Wing, Amar discusses the gaps in the Constitution relating to electoral pitfalls, while offering his expertise in how to contextualize and address those gaps.

In addition to his podcast, Amar recently launched a new personal website that provides information about his publications, speaking engagements, and future projects. The site offers access to the podcast, which is also available on Spotify, Apple, and other podcast platforms.

Future podcast episodes will feature conversations with:

  • Bob Woodward, noted American investigatory journalist who will speak on Nixon and Trump.
  • Neal Katyal ’95, former acting solicitor general, and lawyer who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other person of color.  
  • Nina Totenberg, longtime NPR legal correspondent.

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. He is the author of more than 100 law review articles and several books, most notably The Bill of Rights (1998), America’s Constitution (2005), America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012), and The Constitution Today (2016). His latest book, The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840, is due out in May 2021.