In his soon to be published book chapter in constitutional democracies in crisis? Choudhry focuses intensely on a tweet by Eric Holder, the former Attorney General under President Obama’s administration. In his December 2017 tweet, Holder says that in the event White House special counsel, Robert Mueller is terminated from his position, then there must be a peaceful protest to support him and terming such a move as an “absolute red line.” He further states in the tweet that the voice of the American people must be raised, seen and heard.
In the book chapter, Sujit Choudhry dissects the tweet and analyses it in two main ways. The first way is that the American people are left the choice by Holder to determine for themselves if indeed officials in power have abused their authority. In a second way, he says that the red line is taken to mean uncontroversial constitutional border as per the American democracy. In summary, he says that tweet is built on the idea of “constitutional self-enforcement build on the foundations of a focal point.” Sujit Choudhry further questions why Holder being a law enforcement official does not include the legal side in an attempt to eliminate Robert.
To further explain the issue of the focal point, he gives another example of the two-term presidential limit. He says that this rule can be overlooked by an autocrat and he or she can continue to serve as the head of state. “This kind of action will in most instances leads to political opponents mobilizing the masses to stage street protests,” he further explains. In his view, Holders, the concept of the absolute red line is a classic example of democratic failure.
Sujit Choudhry has written extensively on issues to dealing with constitutional laws and politics (blogs.law.nyu.edu). He combines his research work and field experience to advisor countries on their constitution-building processes (http://sujitchoudhry.com/advisory-work/). This has seen him work in several states such as Ukraine, Tunisia, Egypt, Nepal, Jordan and South Africa. He has also worked for reputable organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development program as a consultant. Currently, he is the founder of the Center for Constitutional Transition.