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Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

''The U.S. is a country where partisan conflict has long been the norm, not the exception," says one scholar

November 13, 2018  The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON – Fears are mounting in the United States of a looming constitutional crisis – a fear Canadians know all too well.

Critics say President Donald Trump has been flouting constitutional conventions, including by appointing an acting attorney general who has not been vetted by the Senate, floating conspiracy theories about the electoral process in Florida and revoking a CNN reporter’s media pass for partisan reasons.

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

The broadcaster says it is taking the White House to court, alleging that pulling correspondent Jim Acosta’s credentials constitute a violation of their constitutional rights to due process and freedom of the press.


And media reports today indicate the Department of Justice is preparing to issue a legal opinion defending the appointment of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a vocal critic of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Ryan Hurl, a constitutional scholar at the University of Toronto, says it’s important to remember that the U.S. constitution has already seen its share of conflict.

Hurl says that while Canadians might have their own interpretation of the phrase “constitutional crisis,” the U.S. is a country where partisan conflict has long been the norm, not the exception.