This article appeared in the September 24, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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In the U.K. and elsewhere, a consistent message of democracy

Supreme Court/Parliament TV via Reuters/Reuters
Lady Brenda Hale, head of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, announces a ruling Sept. 24, 2019, that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament was unlawful.

This evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions, saying they undermine national security. Only two U.S. presidents have been impeached. We’re working on a story that looks at the role of moderate Democrats in tipping the balance for tomorrow’s Daily.

In today’s issue, our five hand-picked stories include a look at Britain’s democratic push-pull, the resiliency of the Hong Kong protests, Canadian voters’ views on racism, California versus Trump, and a delightful comic about going to Mars

Truth matters. Rule of law matters.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson just got a lesson in democratic checks and balances from the Britain’s Supreme Court.

The 11 justices unanimously ruled Tuesday that Mr. Johnson’s suspension (prorogue) of Parliament was illegal. It’s “impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason – let alone a good reason – to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks,” explained Lady Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court.

In a democracy, the legislative, executive, and judicial branches act as checks on the abuse of power. We can see examples of this worldwide.

In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma faced charges of corruption, and a court ruling that he’d violated the constitution by not upholding the rule of law in those charges. He faced multiple no-confidence votes in parliament before stepping down in 2018.

In Poland, the populist conservative ruling party forced one-third of the Supreme Court justices in to early retirement in order to load the court with party loyalists, a move the European Court of Justice declared illegal in June.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could face charges of fraud, bribery and breach of public trust, if he fails to win re-election.

In the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, a consistent message of democracy is that no one is above the law.

This article appeared in the September 24, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 09/24 edition
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