According to constitutional expert Sujit Choudhry, there are a lot of factors that can threaten democracy. He said there are a number of “red lines” that should never be crossed in a constitutional nation. He cites many examples all the current political situation in the United States as just one example.
Sujit Choudhry notes that one area in which the United States would reach the point of no return would be if the current president sought to fire White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He urged peaceful demonstrations if something happened in that regard.
Of course, this idea of a “red line” was first noted in a tweet by former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder. There is no questioning the fact that Holder is not crazy about the potential president Trump has for firing Robert Mueller. However, he does note that whether it is an abuse of power would be best left up to the people (medium.com). Sujit Choudhry would seem to agree with this characterization, and he also mentioned other areas where politicians could possibly go too far.
For example, Sujit Choudhry would also be in agreement with the term limit provisions that many countries have in their constitutions for their presidential leaders. He believes that all world leaders should commit to serving no more than two elected terms. Of course, he can easily see where an autocrat couldn’t exploit a loophole and declare some sort of national emergency in a ploy to serve more than two terms. To put it mildly, that would be very unfortunate, possibly even bordering on a constitutional crisis.
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Of course, the most blatant example of a wanton disregard for a country’s Constitution would be a military seizure of power, called a coup d’etat. While this is not actually been done in the United States, many scholars see the devastating consequences when it occurs in other countries. There is no questioning the fact that we live in very polarizing times. That is one of the main reasons why it is a good thing to have a constitutional expert such as Sujit Choudhry.
Connect with Choudhry, visit LinkedIn, Twitter
Sujit Choudhry is a well-known professor and scholar who does diverse research on comparative issues in constitutional law and politics. His topics revolve on matters of constitutional design as a tool in managing federalism, peaceful democratic politics, constitutional design in different contexts & transitions, official language policy, group rights, constitutional courts & justice, bills of rights, secession & decentralization, constitutional building process, and various matters (http://sujitchoudhry.com/advisory-work/). He writes broadly on the Canadian constitutional law.
In a recent publication found on a book chapter that he is yet to release, Sujit addressed a tweet by Eric Holder, who was an Attorney General under President Obama that was directed to his followers in 2017 December. In the tweet, Holder was calling any potential for termination of Robert Mueller, White House special counsel, as an absolute red line. Holder added that if that action took place, there could be peaceful demonstrations following. He said that if Robert is removed or tampered with, people would be called out in peaceful support and speak out. Based on this tweet, Sujit Choudhry brings a dissection that the call to action made by the attorney general is based on two focuses. One focus is that of the symbolic use of red line, which would mean that Holder commits the American people to determine any abuse caused by their authorities in any boundaries. Sujit adds that the tweet is an insinuation that causes a reaction to the American people and it will determine the resolution to the issues by either red line crossing or reversing.
Learn more about his works, check works.bepress.com.
Sujit Choudhry believes that the tweet by Holder was created through the idea of constitutional self-enforcement which is based on focal point. He added that any constitution governs the expectations of its citizens and individuals by checking the appropriateness of the behavior towards the focal points or rather the constitutional rules. Some of these focal points as expressed by Sujit include the presidential term limit in the US which he states that it limits the individuals towards two terms only. He adds that some autocrats can break it through selfish desires to stay longer in office by declaring a state of emergency in a country.
Connect with Choudhry, visit Crunchbase, Twitter.
Sujit Choudhry is the founder of the Center for Constitutional Transitions, which is helping nations around the world understand the advantage of shifting to a democratic form of government. The primary idea behind the creation of the Center for Constitutional Transitions is the distribution of knowledge about constitution building and creating an assembly of experts in the field that will be extending their support for the mobilization of information that will be essential for a thriving democratic state (works.bepress.com). The current number of experts who have signed partnership with the Center for Constitutional Transitions is 50, and these experts came from more than 25 countries around the world.
Sujit Choudhry has been an international expert for years, and he got his degree in international law from different schools across the world. He also had experiences working as a constitutional advisor, and he is being sent to different countries that have the potential to become the next democratic state. He is helping these countries to create and amend their constitutions, and he is one of those who are providing knowledge when the state is reviewing their shift to being a democracy (constitutionaltransitions.org). Whenever the government would want to change their constitution, and there is a lack of information being circulated with the committee, there would be conflicts and issues that would arise. Sujit Choudhry pointed out the importance of having the Center for Constitutional Transitions to become a bridge for those individuals who lack the information needed for changing the constitution.
One of the most recent projects where Sujit Choudhry has taken a part is the status of Ukraine’s government. He would fly back and forth to Kiev and speak with the remaining officials about their plan of changing their constitution and shifting full gear to a democratic form of government. The Center for Constitutional Transitions has also helped several countries around the world which have chosen to have their constitution changed, like Egypt and Nepal. The next big thing for the center is the continuous funding from their supporters, and the expansion of the number of experts who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise about international issues.