Sanctuary Cities and the Trump Administration

The current clash between the Trump administration and the so-called “sanctuary cities” on immigration is not qualitatively new. There have been other attempts by the local level in the United States to position itself as an alternative political force vis-à-vis the federal government. Due to the political style of the new administration and all the drama attached to it, the conflict may, however, reach new simmering heights. It may also be more dangerous for the social cohesion of the United States as a political entity.

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"A Terrible Signal that International Law can be Flaunted without Consequence"

If refugees are detained or turned away for reasons of religion or country of origin, that is a case of discrimination clearly prohibited by international refugee law. In theory any other state party to the Refugee Protocol can take the US to the International Court of Justice. Will Chancellor Merkel or perhaps Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau – each of whom has spoken up for refugees in the current context – have the courage to make that referral?

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President Trump and the Foreign Emoluments Clause

The election of Donald Trump to the American presidency has, among other things, brought newfound attention to one of the sleepier provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The foreign emoluments clause provides that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under [the United States], shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
Within 72 hours of his inauguration, the nonprofit government ethics group CREW has filed a constitutional complaint against President Trump in federal court. The President shot back the same day, calling the suit meritless. Does CREW have a case?

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Thirteen Theses on Trump and Liberal Democracy

No one wants to go down in the history books like those fools who said in the 1930s, "well, Hitler isn’t such a bad chap really…" Protecting our egos from the imagined judgment of prosperity, the cautious course is to predict the worst for the Trump Presidency, the very destruction of the American constitutional regime, the collapse of liberal democratic values. I however am willing to risk being proven a fool, so here goes…

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The Big Picture

In Europe, UK, and USA constitutional structures are proving unfit to respond to the challenges of the XXI century. Now is the time to ride on the constitutional moment for the all three of them.

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

Part of the malaise surrounding our contemporary world is a tendency to view constitutional politics, to borrow Goethe’s metaphor, as architecture rather than music; as fixed and immutable rather than a dynamic phenomenon which requires the ongoing assertion and reassertion of the key values and terms of engagement of our mutual interaction with each other and with authority. Six practical suggestions how to defend our constitutional values.

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High time for popular constitutionalism!

Not long ago the advent of illiberal democracy has been announced. It has been mocked, downplayed, but also seriously critically engaged with, including by the authors of this blog. However, since the idea has come from marginal countries in the European East, from Hungary, Poland, but also Slovenia and the likes, it has not been really perceived as an objective threat to the Western constitutional order. The election of Donald Trump, not for who he is, but what he has been standing for, must change this.

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Is the US Constitution to blame for the Rise of Donald Trump? An Interview with SANFORD LEVINSON

"My view is that things will get worse before they get worse. Assuming Clinton wins, there will be tremendous relief and elation on November 9th. If the Republicans keep the House, on November 10th there will be the realization that this election is the most important election in our lifetimes only because of the rejection of Donald Trump. He is a real menace, of course. But in terms of an election that really breaks the logjam, no: It will be more of the same. More of this sick feeling that the national government is really incapable of responding to challenges except if Presidents can push the envelope of executive power, which will just fuel the rage of the opposition party."

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