University of Illinois Law Dean Sees No ‘Constitutional Crisis’ with Trump Administration

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Vikram David Amar – dean, College of Law

A law professor at the University of Illinois says that talk of a ‘Constitutional Crisis’ by some regarding the Trump Administration is misguided.

Dean of the University of College of Law Vikram Amar in an interview with university’s News Bureau concedes that, “These are unusual times to be sure, but we are not to my mind in or on the verge of a constitutional crisis.”

Constitutional issues have arisen regarding President Trump over his declaration of a temporary travel ban from seven mostly Muslim countries and also his immense personal business holdings, which a ‘Time’ magazine article has alleged merits impeachment because of allegations he is violating the ‘Emoluments Clause’ of the Constitution.

Amar disagrees.  “… remember that President Trump has not threatened to defy any court order, and indeed is rewriting executive orders to accommodate judicial rulings, even rulings with which he disagrees,” he says.

In fact, Amar appears to be more concerned about judicial overreach in response to the President than Trump’s own actions or words.  He says, “One problematic aspect of the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the block on President Trump’s original executive order on entry into the U.S. was the determination that the state of Washington had standing to sue on behalf of foreigners. A state can’t sue merely because it is affected by something the feds do, just as a Middle Eastern restaurant owner in Seattle can’t sue simply because she might lose business from the immigration ban.”

Trump has come under fire for his ongoing criticism, much of it tweeted, regarding the judicial branch, including referring to one federal judge as a ‘so-called judge’.  While Amar sees some potential concerns where name-calling is involved, he finds it unlikely any judge would be swayed or bullied by such statements.  He adds that in some cases, the President has grounds to be critical.  “To be fair, let me add that many top constitutional analysts across the ideological spectrum think at least some key judicial rulings against President Trump have been significantly flawed, even if many of these experts are muted in their defense of the Trump administration’s legal stance because they find his policies unwise or abhorrent.”

To read the full exchange, including Dean Amar’s thoughts on the Supreme Court confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch, click here.

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