Sujit Choudhry On The Disappearance of Democracy

Sujit Choudhry is known the world over as a scholar of politics with a special focus on democracy and democratic and comparative constitutional policies. Furthermore, Sujit Choudhry is also highly regarded for his work with The Center for Constitutional Transitions which he leads in the position of director (

A Chapter of a Newly Released Book

Recently Sujit Choudhry debuted a new selection of writings titled, Constitutional Democracies in Crisis? One of the primary subjects of a portion of these writings is, curiously, a “tweet” by former Attorney General, Eric Holder, who operated under the Obama White House Administration. The Tweet in question has Mr. Holder stating the following, “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.” Sujit Choudhry, understanding Mr. Holder’s online statement as emblematic of a strong and prevailing zeitgeist in the political culture in America, remarks that the underlying precepts of a “red line” and the American people reigning “ultimately determinative” are subtended by the belief in constitutional authority and revitalized populism, respectively.

Choudhry notes that Holder’s remarks reflects the widely held (often implicit) American idea of constitutional self governance. Despite the fact that Holder was remarks were widely viewed by the public as noble and positive, Choudhry viewed things differently and believed that Holder was actually disregarding democratic and constitutions integrity by laying down a “red line” and laying the fate of the country wholly upon the whim of the people, instead of holding to the letter of the law to see things through. According to Choudhry, the prevalence of such behavior (for Holder’s tweet is merely one example of much more widespread trend) points towards a general decline in western faith in democracy which may, at a future point, give rise to a rebirth of autocracy.  For an added reading, click on

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