"We the People," it famously begins, "in order to create a more perfect union...," and eight thousand words later, you will have read the American Constitution. In Washington today, U.S. Senators will make opening statements on the nomination of Judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. But the document behind the hearings has a lot more history than Alito.
FDR called the US Constitution "the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written". LBJ said it provides "ample room for the fertility of American political invention". Humorist Will Rogers quipped it "protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators." Yale Law School professor Akil Amar has written its life story.
As Alito sits down in the front of the U.S. Senate, hear a conversation with professor Akil Amar about the life story of the American constitution.
Akhil Reed Amar, law professor at Yale University and author of the new book "America's Constitution: A Biography.";
Jack Beatty, "On Point" News Analyst and a senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.
This program aired on January 9, 2006.