Steven Calabresi, a professor of law at Northwestern University who has offered a broad presidential defense in recent years, wrote: “I am openly appalled by a recent presidential post on Twitter aimed at postponing the November election. Until recently, I was a Democratic political hyperbole. “The claim that President Trump is a fascist.”
“But this last tweet is fascist and the very basis for immediately presenting the President to the House of Representatives and removing him from the Senate,” he said.
This is a significant break from the founder of one of the most influential groups in republican politics. In recent years, the Federalist Society has become one of the leading conservatives and liberals, calling for a limited role for judges in societal problems.
The group also worked closely with the republic’s administrations to influence the selection of judges. Its leaders advised the George W. Bush administration on appointments and, for Trump, became an even closer partner in screening candidates for the bench.
The caller’s assessment comes a few hours after Trump has made it clear on Twitter postponing the November election and claims without evidence that the contest will be flawed.
“With universal postal voting (not abstention, which is good), 2020 will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history. It will cause a lot of competition in the US,”; he wrote. “Delay the election until people can vote properly, safely and securely ???”
Trump has no power to postpone elections, and the Constitution gives Congress the power to set a date for the vote. Lawmakers in both parties have stated almost immediately that elections are unlikely to be postponed.
“President Trump needs to tell every congressional republican that he cannot postpone the federal election,” Calabresi wrote. “It would be illegal, unconstitutional, and unprecedented in American history. One who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.”
Senate Chief Justice Lindsey Graham, an ally of South Carolina Republicans and Trump, asked CNN about the president’s call to postpone the election: “I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea.”
And the mission-old John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the Republican leadership, told CNN that elections would take place in November, despite the president’s announcement.
“I think it’s probably a statement with a bit of press attention, but I doubt it will get any serious attention,” Thune said. “I think we’ve been holding elections every November since about 1788, and I hope it will be again this year.”
Even with many Republicans openly arguing on Trump’s Twitter, Calabresi’s choice stands out as a stark shortcoming given its long history of GS. Although he has offered some criticism of the president in the past, Calabresi has received strong news in recent years about the rejection of his stern special adviser Robert Mueller’s investigation and Trump’s accusations of his treatment of Ukraine.
CNN’s Annie Grayer, Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.