"A Roguish and Unpopular President is potentially an Occasion for the Judiciary to Shine"

Will Democrats be able to block Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation as Supreme Court Justice, and how will it affect the Court if they won’t? Mattias Kumm on the latest developments in the nomination process and the judiciary’s role in holding the Trump administration in check.

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Schlechte (und verfassungswidrige) Ideen reisen schnell: Einreisestopp und Grundgesetz

Es war wohl zu erwarten. Die europäischen Rechtspopulisten haben unlängst in Koblenz den grenzüberschreitenden Schulterschluss geübt. Anwesend im Geiste war ohne Zweifel auch Donald Trump, der in vielerlei Hinsicht gegenwärtig der Posterboy der rechten Populisten ist. Mit seinem Einreisestopp vom Januar ist Trump zwar bislang krachend an den rechtsstaatlichen Prinzipien gescheitert, die die Gerichte ihm entgegengehalten haben. Dieses Scheitern hielt aber weder Trump davon ab, am Montag einen zweiten Anlauf zu unternehmen, einen Einreisestopp zu verankern, noch hindert es seine Epigonen daran, ähnlich krude Vorschläge für andere Staaten in die Welt zu setzen.

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Trump’s Muslim Ban and its Constitutional Limits

The dramatic executive orders of the newly inaugurated President of the United States, Donald Trump, including, most infamously, his executive order excluding Syrian refugees from entry into the United States, and popularly known as the “Muslim ban,” has raised not only hackles among many outside observers, but also questions about the legality of these orders. The short answer is that some of the matters set out in his executive orders, including those affecting refugees, are almost certainly legal, while other aspects of those orders raise significant issues under the United States constitution.

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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 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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