Prof. Sujit Choudhry’s Constitutional Democracies in Crisis and its Consequences

Professor Sujit Choudhry is a globally reputable academic whose efforts, commitment and research focus on a wide range of issues regarding comparative constitutional law and politics. His desire is to see nations move from destructive and disparaging wars to calm and peaceful democratic politics. His constitutional design also focuses on bringing change in justice institutions, semi-presidentialism, federalism, politically and ethnically split societies among others (constitutionaltransitions.org).

Prof. Choudhry recently published a book chapter set to be announced in Constitutional Democracies in Crisis, see works.bepress.com. He specifically targets what Eric Holder – former Attorney General under the Obama administration – tweeted in late 2017. In the tweet, Holder termed the firing of Robert Mueller, a White House Special Counsel, as an “absolute red line” and called for peaceful demonstration should anything happen.

According to Choudhry, the statement is banked on the notion of “constitutional self-enforcement, built around the concept of a focal point.” He expressed his concerns saying that Holder, in his position, makes no effort of citing a legal challenge aimed at obliterating Mueller’s authority even in a secondary role.

Prof. Choudhry also challenged the presidential terms across nations. He says that as opposed to a president running for two terms, an autocrat will be tempted to extend the reign forcing the declaration of a state of emergency, the dissolution of the legislature, and the postponement of the general elections. The state will breed violence as the opponent might mobilize the citizens into rioting.

In his commentary, Prof. Choudhry claims the instability in the political climate dates back to the Cold War. Citing Poland as an example, he says that since the ruling party won elections, it is only concerned in setting bottlenecks aimed at strangling the framework of the country’s constitutional democracy to guarantee a perpetual rule even in future.

Sujit Choudhry also mentions that democratic or authoritarian backsliding is another constraint to constitutional democracy. He says that the term is a shift from coup d’états and autogolpes, which makes government and rulers use legal means to manipulate policies and concerned institutions to remain in power. He pointed out to the fall of Weimer Germany as a classic example.

He goes on to write about democratic backsliding, its effects and how it is slowly transitioning nations into absolute dictatorships. In his final statement, he likens Eric Holder’s case to the democratic backsliding of Poland capturing the Constitutional Tribunal. He said that the statement Holder made is similar to the Polish one even though the U.S constitution serves as the central point where political life springs from and that its language of politics is solely based on the constitutional argument more than any other country in the world.

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For more of Choudhry, visit http://sujitchoudhry.com/about