A Constitutional Crisis Is Inevitable

Article/Op-Ed in Slate
July 24, 2017

Yascha Mounk talks about why we're heading towards a constitutional crisis on Slate's The Good Fight.

All the recent storylines, and every piece of character development, is pointing in the same direction: We are headed toward a constitutional crisis. Why else would Donald Trump violate one of the few constitutional norms he has not yet obliterated by asking naval officers to take a partisan position at a ceremonial event? Why else would he keep repeating that he has the power to pardon anyone he wants—including himself—for any reason at all? And why else would he and his associates be launching one trial balloon after another about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller?
As Jennifer Rubin points out in the Washington Post, it now seems virtually certain that, in one form or another, we are headed for a constitutional showdown. Even if Trump had nothing to fear from Mueller’s investigation, he would probably be unwilling to accept the legitimacy of an independent probe that so clearly showcases the limits of his rightful authority. But there seems to be something more than the quintessentially populist claim that all the state’s rightful authority resides in him alone. It seems increasingly probable that either he or one of his close associates has done something highly illegal—and that the fear of being found out is starting to set in for good.
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