This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
The Framers of the United States Constitution did not believe they were creating a "structure [that would be] sufficient for all time," as Sanford Levinson explains, "…and neither should we." Levinson's Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance challenges commonly-held, reverential attitudes surrounding American constitutional law by taking a passionate but logical approach to a controversial topic that has been hashed and rehashed over the course of this country's history. Levinson looks critically at America's style of government as he discusses aspects of constitutional law that are normally ignored altogether, or taken for granted, adding that the only ones who ought to feel belittled by his explanations are those who have refused "to ask the probing questions the Framers were willing (to ask)." Levinson provides examples by which simple clauses could theoretically be challenged, and thus questions even the parts of the Constitution which are commonly held to be unchangeable. The U.S. Constitution itself is not the only document discussed, as hinted in the title; state constitutions are given equal standing and consideration. Levinson is a noted law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. His previous works include Wrestling with Diversity, Constitutional Faith, and Undemocratic Constitution. Levinson also appeared at the 2006 Festival.