Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Wall Street Journal, Law Professors Grapple With Trump:
When it comes to Donald Trump, University of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson doesn’t shy away from using the s-word or even the c-word. Secession. Coup.
The United States would not be immune to such political upheavals with Mr. Trump occupying the White House, says Prof. Levinson. Among the nation’s most prominent constitutional scholars, Prof. Levinson says a coup d’état would be very unlikely — a one in 1,000 chance, he estimated — but not impossible should a Trump administration display a “dangerous militaristic adventurism.” And a coup, Prof. Levinson said, “is not something I’m advocating except under the worst case.”
The notion of a liberal state like California splitting from the republic seems more plausible to him. Why should a state like California “remain a member of this union when the president is a raving narcissist that some describe as a sociopath?” he said.
In this extraordinary election season, law professors and constitutional scholars are venturing into extraordinary realms of discourse.
Some conservative law professors want Mr. Trump to win. Northwestern legal historian Stephen Presser, Ohio Northern University Bruce Frohnen, and Chapman University’s John C. Eastman are among the scholars who signed a “Statement of Unity” that declared him “the candidate most likely to restore the promise of America.”
University of Illinois College of Law professor Kurt T. Lash thinks a number of anti-Trump law professors are engaging in an “aggressive psychological profiling of Trump that seems far afield from our normal and more legitimate area of scholarly discourse.” He called talk of secession or coups “inflammatory” and “alarmist.”