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Judgment Days for Democracy

With the rise of populist, anti-democratic political movements and parties, many democracies are increasingly relying on the courts to uphold their constitutional order. In these cases, unelected judges' apparent lack of democratic accountability has become a strength.

LONDON – Day by day, week by week, courts are increasingly becoming the front line in the struggle to preserve democracy from populists and authoritarians. In the United States, the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on a decision by Colorado’s highest court that Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s presidential ballot, owing to his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. And an appellate court has ruled against Trump’s claim that presidents enjoy immunity for any action taken while in office.