Outside the Box: With Kavanaugh vote, McConnell and Republicans strike a blow at the U.S. Constitution

Those of us who see President Donald Trump as an authoritarian threat to America’s constitutional democracy have looked to Republicans in Congress, as the majority party, to set limits on executive power and ensure the president is accountable to the rule of law.

This reflects the belief that checks and balances within the government are designed to, in James Madison’s words, prevent “the accumulation of all powers [in one branch].” While congressional Republicans have often proven to be not up to the task of reining in Trump’s authoritarian instincts, some have offered at least rhetorical criticism of the president’s excesses.

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