Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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Opinion

American democracy cannot survive if Trump wins

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Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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Public alarm over the chances of democracy surviving in America has reached a new high-water mark in the wake of the Supreme Court’s July 1 ruling in Trump v. United States, where the court expanded presidential powers for all current and future U.S. presidents. Among other things, the court may have granted U.S. presidents the powers to overtly plot violent coups and to assassinate U.S. citizens, officials and politicians. Seeking to dismiss those concerns, the court’s conservative majority wrote that dissenting justices were engaged in “fearmongering on the basis of extreme hypotheticals.”

The alarm has been amplified by a sudden growing awareness of Project 2025, a far-right plan authored by former Trump administration officials to weaken government agencies and further expand chief executive powers. Liberals warn that these developments and others have together rendered any prospective second Trump term far more high-risk to American democracy than Trump’s first term.

Watch the above video as Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence argues that the Supreme Court’s ruling is only one component of a larger and more terrifying reality, and warns that if Donald Trump wins in November, he can and will bring the American republic to its final end.


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The following is an excerpt of the above video:

[Project 2025] also seeks to create a unitary executive branch where the president of the United States reigns supreme. Now, that would help explain why the right-wing majority of our U.S. Supreme Court found the gall to grant broad, sweeping immunity to Donald Trump, allowing him to be free from prosecution for any criminal activity that he reportedly made in furtherance of the executive office. SCOTUS’ immunity ruling even bars prosecutors from presenting evidence of the president’s motives or his rationale behind his activity.

That means while in office, the president could deal pardons for payments, order the killing of citizens he doesn’t like, and so much more, so long as he proffers that it aligns with his constitutional duties, he’d arguably be untouchable. The immunity granted is near-absolute.

Just to think, to give a president the powers of unchecked monarchs that our forefathers fled. That demonstrates how far we have fallen from democracy, yet we can fall further, and we will if Trump is reelected. Not only will he ensure that Project 2025 is implemented, he’ll use the executive branch to do so.


Interested in opposing perspectives? Have a look at how our other contributors view this issue from across the political spectrum:

Dr. Rashad Richey: Democracy is on the ballot this November.

Ben Weingarten: Clarence Thomas has it right on presidential immunity case.

Jordan Reid: Donald Trump isn’t joking when he says he wants people killed.

Last week the United States of America turned 248 years old. While that is young for a democracy, a birthday is typically a reason to celebrate all the time, but not this time. This past Fourth of July, many of us spent the holiday reeling from the rulings the Supreme Court released at the end of its term. Within a matter of days, the nine dropped blockbuster decisions on gun rights, abortion access, federal agency authority, presidential immunity…While I’ll dive deeper into many of those rulings in the upcoming weeks, one thing unites them all. No matter the subject or the parties, each ruling conveyed the same resounding message: Our democracy will not survive if Donald Trump returns to the White House. With Trump’s elevation of justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, our nation’s highest court has leaned into its majority Conservative slant, disregarding precedent and doing away with the rule of law altogether. Democracy be damned. This right wing justice majority is steadily advancing the Magga agenda. This is evident from the courts end of term decisions, many of which dovetail with Trump’s Project 2025. Although the former president purports to have no ties with it whatsoever, Project 2025 is an effort led by a coalition of ideological groups pushing an extreme conservative agenda. I’m talking policies that harken back to the European nationalism of the 1930s project. 2025, for instance, dismisses experts and demonizes intellectuals. Just last week, the Supreme Court reversed the chevron doctrine, eliminating a 40 year old unanimously adopted legal principle that afforded deference to experts at government agencies who gave a reasonable interpretation of the law in their area of expertise. Yeah, that’s right. The courts conservative majority rejected reasonable interpretations from government experts, that is neutral leaders in their field who have accumulated expertise and knowledge over decades of public service and who don’t have corporate ties. Well, their reasonable interpretations of the law will no longer be respected. This dismantling of the administrative state is right on par with Project 2025, which loads the rule of law. Fortunate for it so does the majority of our higher court, which has no issue straying from precedent so that it can fashion some specious Maga serving outcome in key cases. The project also seeks to create a unitary executive branch where the President of the United States reigns supreme. Now that would help explain why the right wing majority of our US Supreme Court found the gall to grant broad sweeping immunity to Donald Trump, allowing him to be free from prosecution for any criminal activity that he reportedly made in furtherance of the executive office. SCOTUS his immunity ruling even bars prosecutors from presenting evidence of the President’s motives or his rationale behind his activity. That means while in office, the President could deal pardons for payments order the killing of citizens he doesn’t like and so much more, so long as he prefers that it aligned with his constitutional duties, he’d arguably be untouchable. The immunity granted is near absolute, just to think to give a president the powers of unchecked monarchs that our forefathers fled. That demonstrates how far we have fallen from democracy, yet we can fall further and we will if Trump is reelected, not only will he ensure that project 2025 is implemented, he’ll use the executive branch to do so. With this high court intent on fulfilling its mission of a bending long standing legal precedent and elevating extreme conservative policies. We have lost the Judiciary for at least a generation. We can’t afford to lose the executive branch to Richard Nixon shouldn’t be looking up at us right now wondering if he was just 50 years too early, or whether Project 2025 is right on time. This fourth of July was memorable, not because of the fireworks, parades, barbecue or sunshine. But because of the state of the Supreme Court. It’s left me convinced that democracy cannot survive if Trump takes 2025

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