In response to what Biden has called “not a normal court” in the wake of high-profile cases, political scientists Aaron Belkin and Mark Tushnet of San Francisco State University and Harvard Law School wrote “An Open Letter to the Biden Administration on Popular Constitutionalism.”
“We urge President Biden to restrain MAGA justices immediately by announcing that if and when they issue rulings based on gravely mistaken constitutional interpretations that undermine our most fundamental commitments, the Administration will be guided by its own constitutional interpretations,” they wrote.
“We have diligently pushed for Supreme Court expansion as a critical tactic for restoring democracy over the past five years,” the letter continued. Despite our continued support for expansion, the threat posed by the MAGA justices necessitates immediate reforms without Congressional approval. Advocates and experts should urge President Biden to act swiftly to minimize the harm.
Courts “do not exercise exclusive authority over constitutional meaning,” according to Tushnet and Belkin, who cited a strategy known as “popular constitutionalism.” They hypothesized that Biden could provide an alternative constitutional interpretation and explain why the Supreme Court’s rulings are “gravely wrong,” particularly if they do so.
They claimed that, at this particular historical juncture, “MAGA justices pose a grave threat to our most fundamental commitments because they consistently rule to undermine democracy and to curtail fundamental rights, and because many of their rulings are based on misleading and untrue claims.”
Jonathan Turley, a professor of law and legal authority at George Washington University, wrote an op-ed for The Hill on Saturday warning against this constitutional interpretation.
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“What is most striking about these professors is how they continue to position themselves as champions of democracy while attempting to use their unchecked executive power to ignore the law and, in cases like tuition forgiveness and affirmative action, the vast majority of the public. They continue to be the privileged elite of academia, proclaiming that their values transcend both democratic and constitutional processes, according to Turley.
They want Biden to declare himself the final arbiter of what the Constitution means and to exercise his executive authority unilaterally without seeking approval from Congress, he continued. He is to take on the role of his own government.
Following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2018, Tushnet and Belkin participated in the “1.20.21 Project,” a campaign to combat “Republican obstruction, theft, and procedural abuse.” The project was primarily concerned with enlarging the number of federal courts across the country and filling them with liberal judges.
Law Professors Call for Biden to Challenge “MAGA Justices” Over “Gravely Mistaken” Rulings |
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