With Donald Trump’s inauguration less than a month away, there’s been a lot of talk in Washington about two topics: first, the unprecedented conflicts of interest posed by the Trump presidency and, second, the individuals Trump is nominating to fill important government positions. But one thing there hasn’t been sufficient conversation about is the intersection of those two topics — the conflicts of interest posed by Trump naming the heads of agencies that are, or may be, investigating him and his businesses.
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There’s been a lot of talk lately about the many conflicts of interest posed by a Trump presidency. And rightly so. After all, these conflicts are a constitutional crisis in the making: unless Donald Trump sells his business interests before January 20 (and he’s thus far shown no willingness to do so), he will be in violation of the Constitution on the very day he takes the oath to uphold it.
There is much about the rise of President-elect Donald Trump that seems unprecedented in American politics and marked with uncertainty. But one aspect of Trump as a public official was foreseen and forewarned against since the very beginnings of our nation—the problem of his foreign entanglements and financial conflicts of interest.
A ruling striking down these districts would be an important victory not just for those challenging them, but also for our Constitution’s promise of equal political opportunity for all.
A key chapter in North Carolina’s long running attack on one of our Constitution’s most cherished principles—equal political opportunity for all regardless of race—comes to the Supreme Court next week. The pair of redistricting cases the Justices will hear (one from North Carolina, one from Virginia), which have gone largely unnoticed, will be an important test for the Roberts Court. In deciding these cases, it will be critical that the Court ensure that states respect the Constitution’s promise of equal opportunity for all, reflected in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Voting Rights Act.