Previewing Sujit Choudhry’s Constitutional Democracies in Crisis?

In his newest release, Professor Sujit Choudhry issued a discussion of a recent tweet made by Former Attorney General Eric Holder from his upcoming book, Constitutional Democracies in Crisis. Holder’s tweet stated that any possible termination of White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller would cross an an “absolute red line” that Americans must act to deter.

Choudhry highlights that Holder leaves the direction of the issue to be resolved by the reactions of the American people. Holder’s tweet is heavily inspired from the idea of “constitutional self-enforcement.” Constitutions are ultimately governing expectations of the behavior of public authority focusing upon rules set out by the Constitution. Choudhry then describes his belief that Holder’s ‘red lines’ could be considered examples of democratic failures.

Choudhry continues by discussing one of the most significant and growing threats to constitutional democracies, ‘democratic backsliding.’ According to Choudhry, ‘democratic backsliding’ is a circumstance “whereby a democratically elected government or president uses legal means to manipulate rules and institutions to remain in future electoral cycles…” Choudhry raises the example of Poland’s PIS party. In recent years, the PIS has gradually dismantled the democratic nature of the Polish Government by assigning new judges to cases, creating new rules governing the constitution of panels and the creation of an Interim President.

Sujit Choudhry has over two decades of experience as a constitutional advisor. He has advised foreign dignitaries building constitutions in other nations such as Sri Lanka, Yemen, South Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Tunisia (  He is also currently a member of the United Nations Meditation Roster. Sujit Choudhry is an internationally recognized authority on comparative constitutional law and politics. His publication record comprises of over ninety articles, book chapters, working papers and reports.

Sujit Choudhry is the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California Berkeley—School of Law. He has also been a member of the faculty at both New York University and the University of Toronto. He wrote numerous books including The Migration of Constitutional Ideas, Constitutional Court Review and most recently, Constitutional Democracies in Crisis.  Refer to for additional reading.

Connect with Choudhry on LinkedIn.

Related Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *