Sujit Choudhry and the Challenges Facing Modern Constitutional Policies

Sujit Choudhry, a world renowned researcher of constitutional comparative law and geopolitics, in preparing his next upcoming book, Democracies In Crisis?, details in one chapter the state of America’s relationship to its constitution by analyzing, of all things, a tweet by Eric Holder. For those unaware, Eric Holder was the former and 82nd attorney general of the United States under the administration of President Barack Obama, check ( On December 17, 2017, Mr. Holder put of a message on the social media micro blogging platform, Twitter, wherein he commented on the possible termination of the White House special counsel, Robert Mueller, saying, “ABSOLUTE RED LINE: the firing of Bob Mueller or crippling the special counsel’s office. If removed or meaningfully tampered with, there must be mass, popular, peaceful support of both. The American people must be seen and heard – they will ultimately be determinative”, learn more on

In Choudhry’s reading Holder tweet is emblematic of a fundamental underlying conception of constitutionalism. For example, the two conceptions which underlie the message, the first being the symbolic “red line” and the second being the constitutional boundaries, both rely upon the idea of populist self-governance. Sujit Choudhry summarizes the political and philosophical preconceptions of Holder’s tweet as “constitutional self-enforcement, built around the concept of a focal point.” Though many of Holder’s supports signaled their approval of the remark, Sujit Choudhry found the comment to be quite surprising given its author’s extensive history with the legal system. Sujit Choudhry wrote that, “Indeed, it is striking that Holder, once the nation’s chief law enforcement official, does not even mention a legal challenge to attempts to obliterate Mueller’s authority, even in a supporting role”, get info (

The reason Choudhry finds Holder’s commentary disheartening then, in essence, is its complete disregard for the law in favor of populist sentiment. In breaking with constitutional limitations on power, room is readily made for autocratic forces to grow and take root; an eventuality which would signal the death of democracy itself, reference