Stephen Calabresi, a professor of law at Northwestern University, who has offered broad protections to the president in recent years, wrote: “I am frankly impressed by the president’s latest tweet, which sought to postpone the election in November. President Trump is a fascist. “
“But this latest tweet is fascist and in itself is the basis for the immediate impeachment of the president again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate,” he said.
This is a significant break for the co-founder of one of the most influential groups in republican politics. In recent years, the Federalist Society has become a leading conservative and libertarian voice, calling for limiting the role of judges in society.
The group also worked closely with Republican administrations to influence the selection of judges. Its leaders advised the George W. Bush administration on the appointment and, under Trump, became an even closer partner in selecting candidates for the electoral group.
The disgusting assessment comes hours after Trump apparently refused to delay the November election in a tweet, claiming without evidence that the contest would be wrong.
“Thanks to universal mail voting (rather than absentee voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most UNFAIR and CORRECT election in history. It will be a great embarrassment for the United States,”; he wrote. “Delay the election until people can vote correctly, reliably and safely ???”
Trump has no power to postpone elections, and the Constitution gives Congress the power to set a date for voting. Lawmakers in both parties said almost immediately that the election was unlikely to be delayed.
“President Trump must tell every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election,” Calabresi wrote. “It would be illegal, unconstitutional, and unprecedented in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again.”
Senate Judge Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Trump’s ally, told CNN when asked about the president’s call to postpone the election: “I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea.”
And majority Majority Senator John Thun of South Dakota, a member of the Republican leadership, told CNN that the election would take place in November, despite the president’s tweet.
“I think it’s probably a statement that is getting some press attention, but I doubt it’s going to cause much traction,” Thun said. “I think we’ve had elections every November since about 1788, and I hope that will be the case this year as well.”
Even with dozens of Republicans openly challenging Trump’s tweet, the Calabresi opposition stands out as a striking flaw given its long history in the GP. Although he has offered some criticism of the president in the past, Calabres has gained considerable fame in recent years for his violent refusal to investigate Special Defender Robert Mueller and for impeachment of Trump for his behavior with Ukraine.
Annie Grayer, Kevin Liptak and CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.