Issues With Constitutional Democracies As Explained By Professor Sujit Choudhry

Even with the major advancements that have been seen in the world over the last several decades, perhaps the biggest change is that constitutional democracy has become the generally accepted answer to the age-old question of the best way to run society. A constitutional democracy is nothing more than a democratic nation that uses a constitution as a foundation for the rule of law. One Berkeley professor, Sujit Choudhry, has spent most of his adult life in pursuit of knowledge related to politics and constitutional democracy, and his studies have shown him some unique perspectives and subtleties of the world (

While Sujit Choudhry accepts that constitutional democracies form an exceptionally stable society since they offer a fair chance for everyone and a fair set of rules by which everyone must live, he caveats that with the idea that constitutional democracies are not perfect. Sujit points to what has been unfolding in Poland over the last three years in relation to the nationalist party that took over their legislature and rewrote their constitution. Every bit of that happened under what would be called ‘fair democratic processes’, but the end result was that this radical right-wing party was able to fundamentally change the way their society operates.

Choudhry believes that a similar situation might occur in the United States with Donald Trump at the helm. The professor takes this stand for a number of reasons, but the primary motivation is that Trump has threatened on numerous occasions to cross what Choudhry calls a red line, or a focal point. This is essentially a highly public instance of the president crossing a constitutional boundary and ignoring the law due to his own perceived autocracy.

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Unfortunately, the real test for the United States might not be whether or not Trump crosses the red line, but whether or not he is held responsible for his actions by those who must hold him accountable: his own party. Of course, after the midterm elections, it is possible the Democrats could regain control of Congress or at least one part of it. However, there are numerous other red lines that Trump could cross and trigger a constitutional crisis.

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