When at Times the Mob Is Swayed

Defending the Constitution in the Age of Trump

A visionary legal scholar’s clear-eyed but reassuring defense of the Constitution’s power to withstand an authoritarian president

“In the dark art of lawyering, Neuborne has always been considered a white knight.” —New York

Noted constitutional lawyer Burt Neuborne opens his new book with a chilling narrative of how closely Donald Trump’s communications strategy resembles the toxic mix of deliberate falsehoods, white racism, and the search for scapegoats used by Hitler in the 1930s to topple German democracy. Neuborne is relatively confident, though, that it won’t happen here.

The American president is bound by four unprecedented sets of constitutional protections, all endorsed by both major parties, that stand between us and an authoritarian regime fronted by Donald Trump’s tweets: separation of powers, federalism, and two Bills of Rights protecting individual freedom and equality. Several important constitutional rights—a women’s right to choose, the right of gay marriage, and the Establishment Clause, promising freedom from other people’s religion—do risk erosion under a Trump Supreme Court. But Neuborne draws on more than fifty years as one of the nation’s foremost constitutional scholar/litigators to explain why bipartisan support for the key values underlying our basic constitutional protections means that justices at both ends of the spectrum will unite to resist a wholesale dismantling of American democracy. Though the right and left may prioritize values differently, free speech, free press, freedom of religious practice, and the equality that are our hallmarks will endure.

Books by Burt Neuborne

Madison’s Music
On Reading the First Amendment

Burt Neuborne