Since Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, there have been
serious discussions about the sustainability of his presidency. Nevertheless, America takes comfort in knowing it has the safety and protections of our Constitution behind us.
This week we have seen our democracy and constitution stretched dangerously thin and our
faith in our system of checks and balances tested.
The Constitution is set up to
ensure that power is shared between the president, Congress and the courts. Serious constitutional crises occur when our institutions are rendered ineffective, which is usually about politics more than process. These rare instances have less to do with how the institutions were designed than with how legitimate they are perceived to be.
We are witnessing different parts or branches of
government at loggerheads over political idealogy. If Trump continues to strain democratic norms and push political boundaries, Congress, the courts, or even members of his own administration -- hopefully -- need to push back.
Constitutional scholar John Finn describes what's happening as "Constitutional rot." Faith in the key commitments of the Constitution are gradually eroding, even when the legal structures remain in place. He said Constitutional rot occurs when
"decision-makers abide by the empty text of the Constitution without fidelity to its underlying principles." It can also take place when the public either doesn't realize or doesn't care.
These are serious times. We must
stay informed and be active participants in our democracy.
Franklin Roosevelt said that "
government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country."
We have the power and get the final say with our vote.
Let's make sure we use it. Support JAC candidates. Get involved. Make a difference.
Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.