The Justices Must Choose: Trump or the Constitution


Rakim Brooks


Executive Power & Civil Liberties

This excerpt is from a piece by Rakim Brooks that originally ran in Democracy Docket on February 5, 2024.

There really is no way for the Court to protect Trump and defend the U.S. Constitution — it must choose and bear the consequences. In that choice, I have a warning: For those who think the public will forgive and forget if the justices shirk their constitutional responsibilities, think again.

The last time the Court was embroiled in a presidential controversy of this magnitude, it survived only because Al Gore chose not to impugn the Court’s ruling against him. He peacefully conceded the 2000 presidential race “for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy,” and his supporters followed suit rather than taking to the streets.

But those were gentler times — before Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stole a Supreme Court seat and gave fodder to calls for “expansion”; before this Court wantonly overruled the constitutional rights to an abortion and to promote diversity in higher education, giving rise to increased awareness of the Court’s misdeeds and before we learned that Clarence Thomas is not as modest as he claims among the ongoing Senate investigations into his corruption.

There is no grace left to forgive a decision so egregious. Most Americans now believe the Supreme Court is a threat to democracy and the rule of law. Siding with Trump would only confirm those doubts.

Read the complete piece.