Checks and Balances In Crisis In the Trump-Era
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In a recent article published in L'Opinion, Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer and Martin Quencez argue that Europeans should be particularly attentive to the balance of power between the White House and other branches of power in the U.S. The response of institutional checks and balances to the series of executive orders signed during the first weeks of the new administration, already revealed growing tensions within the U.S. political system. In this context, it is crucial for the European partners of the U.S. to understand the internal dynamics that will influence Donald Trump's policies.
While Congress has not yet defined its red lines clearly, and a clear opposition between the Republican majority and the President remains uncertain, the judiciary branch and the media have already strongly reacted to the first presidential decisions. The so-called travel ban, in particular, has been the center of institutional tensions over the past weeks, and could foretell future clashes and blockages for U.S. policy-making. Interestingly, other actors of the civil society and private companies have also entered the political stage to play a role of counter-powers to the White House.
The heated exchanges between the President and his opponents are particularly worrying if they lead the population to question the legitimacy of traditional checks and balances. For Europeans, a weakening of U.S. domestic institutions can only create more uncertainty, and more concerns regarding the ability of the new administration to provide stability and security.
Read the complete article in French below.