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Editorial: Donald Trump as global constitutional breaching experiment

  • JONATHAN HAVERCROFT, ANTJE WIENER, MATTIAS KUMM and JEFFREY L DUNOFF
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1 ‘Donald Trump Personally Called National Park Service Director about Those Inauguration Photos’ The Independent (27 January 2017) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-national-park-service-michael-reynolds-inauguration-crowd-size-photos-proof-a7548601.html>.

2 Parker, A, ‘Trump Says Pence Will Head Investigation into Voting Irregularities, despite No Evidence of Fraud’ Washington Post (5 February 2017) Post Politics, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/05/trump-says-pence-will-head-investigation-into-voting-irregularities-despite-lack-of-evidence-of-fraud/>.

3 ‘Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull’s Phone Call: The Full Transcript’ ABC News (3 August 2017) <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-04/donald-trump-malcolm-turnbull-refugee-phone-call-transcript/8773422>.

4 Siddiqui, S, ‘Trump Press Ban: BBC, CNN and Guardian Denied Access to Briefing’ The Guardian (25 February 2017) US news, <http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/24/media-blocked-white-house-briefing-sean-spicer>.

5 Trump, DJ, ‘Terrible! Just Found out That Obama Had My ‘‘Wires Tapped’’ in Trump Tower Just before the Victory. Nothing Found. This Is McCarthyism!’ Tweet, @realDonaldTrump (blog), (3 March 2017) <https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/837989835818287106?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>.

6 Fabian, J, ‘Trump Attacks Judges Weighing Travel Ban’ The Hill (8 February 2017) <http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/318451-trump-attacks-judges-weighing-travel-ban>.

7 Miller, G and Jaffe, G, ‘Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information to Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador’ Washington Post (15 May 2017) National Security, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html>.

8 Haberman, M et al., ‘‘‘Enough Was Enough’’: How Festering Anger at Comey Ended in His Firing’ New York Times (10 May 2017) Politics, <http://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/us/politics/how-trump-decided-to-fire-james-comey.html>.

9 Chakraborty, B, ‘Paris Agreement on Climate Change: US Withdraws as Trump Calls It ‘‘Unfair’’’ Fox News (1 June 2017) Politics <http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/01/trump-u-s-to-withdraw-from-paris-climate-pact-calls-it-unfair-for-america.html>.

10 Trump, DJ, ‘Pathetic Excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan Who Had to Think Fast on His ‘‘No Reason to Be Alarmed’’ Statement. MSM Is Working Hard to Sell It!’ Tweet, @realdonaldtrump (blog) (6 June 2017) <https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/871725780535062528?lang=en>.

11 ‘Trump Boy Scout Jamboree Speech Angers Parents’ BBC News (25 July 2017) US & Canada, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40715185>.

12 Oppenheim, M, ‘Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists Applaud Donald Trump’s Response to Deadly Violence in Virginia’ The Independent (13 August 2017) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/neo-nazis-white-supremacists-celebrate-trump-response-virginia-charlottesville-a7890786.html>.

13 Borger, J at the United Nations, ‘A Blunt, Fearful Rant: Trump’s UN Speech Left Presidential Norms in the Dust’ The Guardian (19 September 2017) US news, <http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/19/donald-trump-un-speech-analysis-north-korea>.

14 Shear, MD and Hirschfeld Davis, J, ‘Trump Moves to End DACA and Calls on Congress to Act’ New York Times (5 September 2017) Politics, <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/us/politics/trump-daca-dreamers-immigration.html>.

15 Vazquez, M, ‘Trump Calls Roy Moore to Offer His Endorsement’ CNN (4 December 2017) <http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/trump-moore-endorsement-twitter/index.html>.

16 Wolf, M, ‘The New World Disorder and the Fracturing of the West’ Financial Times (2 January 2018).

17 ‘Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?’ The Atlantic (7 December 2017) <https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/10/will-donald-trump-destroy-the-presidency/537921/>; E Bazelon, ‘How Do We Contend with Trump’s Defiance of ‘‘Norms’’?’ (11 July 2017) <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/magazine/how-do-we-contend-with-trumps-defiance-of-norms.html>; Gopnik, A, ‘Norms and Cliffs in Trump’s America’ The New Yorker (3 August 2017) <https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/norms-and-cliffs-in-trumps-america>; Farrell, H and Finnemore, M, ‘Trump’s No Hypocrite’ Foreign Affairs (30 May 2017) <www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-05-30/trump-s-no-hypocrite>.

18 Finnemore, M and Toope, SJ, ‘Alternatives to ‘‘Legalization’’: Richer Views of Law and Politics’ 55() International Organization (2001) 743 <https://doi.org/10.1162/00208180152507614>. Dahl, A, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1971).

19 See Capoccia, G and Kelemen, RD, ‘The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism’ 59() World Politics 341 ; Wiener, A, ‘Trump and the End of Taken-for-Grantedness: When Exception Becomes the Rule’ (13 December 2016) Duck of Minerva Blog <http://duckofminerva.com/2016/12/wptpn-trump-and-the-end-of-taken-for-grantedness-when-the-exception-becomes-the-rule.html>; we also touched on this theme in last year’s editorial: Kumm, M et al., ‘Editorial: The End of ‘‘the West’’ and the Future of Global Constitutionalism’ (2017) 6() Global Constitutionalism 1 <https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045381717000077>.

20 Serwer, A, ‘Can Trump Bring Back Torture?’ The Atlantic (26 January 2017) <https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/trump-torture/514463/>.

21 ‘Trump May Have Just Destroyed the Legal Case against the New York Terror Suspect’> The Independent (2 November 2017) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/new-york-attack-donald-trump-tweet-sayfullo-saipov-legal-case-destroy-damage-terror-suspect-death-a8032746.html>.

22 ‘Donald Trump Seemingly Endorses Police Brutality’ The Independent (28 July 2017) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-long-island-brutality-police-suffolk-a7866071.html>.

23 ‘Trump May Reinstate Secret CIA ‘‘Black Site’’ Prisons: U.S. Officials’ Reuters (25 January 2017) <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-prisons/trump-administration-could-reinstate-secret-overseas-cia-prisons-washpost-idUSKBN15922L>.

24 Keating, VC, ‘Contesting the International Illegitimacy of Torture: The Bush Administration’s Failure to Legitimate Its Preferences within International Society’ (February 2014) 16() The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 1 <https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-856X.12024>; Steele, B, ‘Broadening the Contestation of Norms in International Relations’ (January 2017) 49() Polity 132 <https://doi.org/10.1086/689981>; Newell, ME, ‘Interstitial Rules and the Contested Application of Human Rights Law and the Laws of War in Counterterrorism’ (2016) 5() Global Constitutionalism 207 <https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045381716000071>.

25 A Schmidt and S Kathryn, ‘Explaining the Impact of US Contestation of the Torture Ban’ (2017) unpublished manuscript.

26 ‘New York Truck Attack: Trump Urges Death Penalty for Sayfullo Saipov’ BBC News (3 November 2017) US & Canada, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41848151>; Diaz, D CNN, ‘Trump on Bergdahl Decision: ‘‘Complete and Total Disgrace’’’ CNN (3 November 2017) <http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/03/politics/donald-trump-bowe-bergdahl-twitter/index.html>.

27 Lang, AF and Wiener, A (eds), Handbook on Global Constitutionalism (Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2017).

28 Kumm, M et al., ‘Editorial: The End of ‘the West’ and the Future of Global Constitutionalism’ (2017) 6() Global Constitutionalism 1 <https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045381717000077>.

29 While not discussing Trumpism, other scholars have noted how moves that might seem to undermine global constitutionalism, such as independence movements, might actually end up reinforcing cosmopolitan tendencies. Fierke, KM, ‘Introduction: Independence, Global Entanglement and the Co-Production of Sovereignty’ (2017) 6() Global Constitutionalism 167 <https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045381717000089>; Benhabib, S, ‘The New Sovereigntism and Transnational Law: Legal Utopianism, Democratic Scepticism and Statist Realism’ (2016) 5() Global Constitutionalism 109 <https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045381716000010>.

30 Garfinkel, H, Studies in Ethnomethodology (2nd rev edn, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1984) ch 2.

31 Tully, J, Public Philosophy in a New Key: Vol 1, Democracy and Civic Freedom (1st edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009) 125 ; Hofius, M, ‘Community at the Border or the Boundaries of Community? The Case of EU Field Diplomats’ (2016) 42() Review of International Studies 939 <https://doi.org/10.1017/s0260210516000085>.

32 Wiener, A, Contestation and Constitution of Norms in Global Governance (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2018); Wiener, A, ‘Agency of the Governed in Global International Relations: Access to Norm Validation’ (28 July 2017) Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 1 <https://doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2017.1359064>. Havercroft, J and Duvall, R, ‘Challenges of an Agonistic Constructivism for International Relations’ (2017) 49() Polity 156 <https://doi.org/10.1086/689978>.

33 Weigel, D, ‘Steve Bannon’s Rise Points to Aggressive, Anti-‘Globalist’ Trump Media Strategy’ Washington Post (14 November 2016) Post Politics, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/11/14/steve-bannons-rise-points-to-aggressive-anti-globalist-trump-media-strategy/>.

34 Fahrenthold, DA, ‘Trump Recorded Having Extremely Lewd Conversation about Women in 2005’ Washington Post (8 October 2016) Politics, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html>.

35 Parker, A, Berman, M, and Sellers, FS, ‘Three Women Reassert Allegations of Sexual Harassment against President Trump’ Washington Post (12 December 2017) Politics, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/three-women-reassert-allegations-of-sexual-harassment-against-president-trump/2017/12/11/9aa208a2-de96-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html>.

36 CBS/AP, ‘‘‘I Never Said I’m a Perfect Person’’ Trump Says about Lewd Comments’ (7 October 2016) <https://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-defends-lewd-2005-conversation-about-women-as-locker-room-banter/>.

37 Parker, A, ‘Trump Seeks to Dismiss Sexual Harassment Allegations as ‘‘Fake News’’’ Washington Post (12 December 2017) Post Politics, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/12/12/trump-seeks-to-dismiss-sexual-harassment-allegations-as-fake-news/>.

38 Parker Berman and Sellers (n 35).

39 Kahn, C, ‘Trump Trails Clinton by 8 Points after Tape Scandal, Debate: Reuters/Ipsos Poll’ Reuters (11 October 2016) <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-poll/trump-trails-clinton-by-8-points-after-tape-scandal-debate-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKCN12B2PV>.

40 Calfas, J, ‘President Trump’s Approval Rating Is Lower Than Any Modern President’ Time (5 November 2017) <http://time.com/5010653/donald-trump-approval-ratings-low-poll/>.

41 Chenoweth, E and Pressman, J, ‘This Is What We Learned by Counting the Women’s Marches’ Washington Post (17 February 2017) Monkey Cage: Analysis interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/02/07/this-is-what-we-learned-by-counting-the-womens-marches/>.

42 de La Rochefoucauld, Le Duc, Maxims, trans Heard, J (International Pocket Library, Boston, MA, 1982) maxim 223.

43 For a development of La Rochefoucauld’s maxim as it applies to the laws of war see Walzer, M, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (Basic Books, New York, NY, 2006) 1920.

44 ‘U.S. Submits Formal Notice of Withdrawal from Paris Climate Pact’ Reuters (4 August 2017) <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-climate-usa-paris/u-s-submits-formal-notice-of-withdrawal-from-paris-climate-pact-idUSKBN1AK2FM>.

45 ‘US Cities and Companies Declare ‘‘We Are Still in’’ Paris Agreement despite Trump’ The Independent (10 November 2017) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/paris-agreement-trump-us-cities-still-in-defiance-coalition-a8047086.html>.

46 Shear, MD and Hirschfeld Davis, J, ‘Trump Moves to End DACA and Calls on Congress to Act’ New York Times (5 September 2017) Politics, <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/us/politics/trump-daca-dreamers-immigration.html>.

47 Shugerman, E, ‘Trump Administration Has Ordered Deportations of 50,000 People since He Took Office’ The Independent (8 August 2017) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-deported-50000-immigrants-department-of-justice-undocumented-immigration-a7883466.html>; Torbati, Y and Rosenberg, M, ‘Trump Administration Proposes to Cut Refugee Cap to 45,000’ (27 September 2017) <https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-immigration-refugees/trump-administration-proposes-to-cut-refugee-cap-to-45000-idUKKCN1C22SG>.

48 The term ‘dreamer’ refers to undocumented migrants who entered the United States as children. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was a programme set up by the Obama Administration to offer the temporary right for these migrants to live, work, and study in the US. Walters, J, ‘What Is DACA and Who Are the Dreamers?’ The Guardian (14 September 2017) US news, <http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/04/donald-trump-what-is-daca-dreamers>.

49 Johnson, J, ‘Trump Calls for ‘‘Total and Complete Shutdown of Muslims Entering the United States’’’ Washington Post (7 December 2015) Post Politics, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/12/07/donald-trump-calls-for-total-and-complete-shutdown-of-muslims-entering-the-united-states/>.

50 Nietzsche, F, Twilight of the Idols or How to Philosophize with a Hammer, trans Large, D (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998) section 8.

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Global Constitutionalism
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