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FEATURING SANFORD LEVINSON – Politicians in the US like to say they are devoted to the Constitution of this nation. Grassroots activists often speak in terms of protecting people’s Constitutional rights. The US constitution is considered a sacred text, cited as a reason to distinguish this nation’s superiority over other nations, as a mark of progress in exercising democracy and equality.

But how robust is this much-revered document? Especially when we have a president who was elected despite losing the popular vote, a Congress that can barely pass any legislation, a party in power that appears hell bent on kicking out immigrants, locking up people of color, and denying far too many people their basic right to vote.

It turns out that many of the reasons that government doesn’t work as well as it should today can be traced back to flaws in the Constitution.

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NOTE: This is the Extended version of this interview, available only to our subscribers, or to rent or buy.

Sanford Levinson, professor in the Law School and Department of Government at the University of Texas and a frequent visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School. His earlier books include An Argument Open to All: Reading “The Federalist” in the 21st Century; and Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance. He is the co-author with Cynthia Levinson of the new book Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today.

**This story was originally broadcast on October 5, 2017.

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