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NUMERO 2 - 17/01/2018

 The Constitution and the Trump Presidency

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in November 2016 came as a shock to almost all Americans (as well as to most people around the world) for two reasons: (1) it was unexpected – almost all polls leading up to the election indicated that Hillary Clinton would win; and (2) more importantly, many people thought that Donald Trump lacked the background, knowledge, experience, temperament, and morality that were thought to be necessary for election to the presidency of the United States. Since becoming president on January 20, 2017, President Trump and members of his administration appointed by him have comported themselves, made statements, and taken a number of actions that appear to be antithetical to the way past presidents and administrations have acted. It has been alleged by some that their words and actions have violated specific provisions of the Constitution and, more broadly, certain fundamental principles of the American constitutional tradition. It is these matters that I wish to explore in this article. The principles at issue are: the rule of law, democracy, separation of powers, federalism, equality and human rights, and freedom of the press. These principles, taken together, are the bedrock on which the American form of government is based. If one or more of these principles is weakened or allowed to atrophy, the great American experiment with the republican form of government that has been so beneficial to the United States and has served as a beacon to other nations is threatened. While it is still early in the Trump presidency, only about one year out of Trump’s four-year term has elapsed, certain patterns of behavior and attitudes demonstrate a consistency which make an evaluation even at this early stage possible and useful... (segue) 


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