No tyranny for failing Donald Trump – sad! Law, constitutionalism and tyranny in the twenty-first century

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Aoife O'Donoghue


Donald Trump, tyranny, constitutionalism, contestation, impeachment, tyrannicide


Donald Trump’s presidency resulted in several accusations of tyrannical intent. The end of his term of office, and particularly the rioting of 6 January 2021 and the denial of the presidential election results, did little to dispel those accusations. Tyranny, while perhaps not fashionable as a basis of analysis, has a long-intertwined relationship with law and constitutionalism. This article uses Donald Trump’s presidency to consider the relationships between tyranny, tyrannicide, law and constitutionalism. The article considers law and constitutionalism’s role in both preventing and advancing the advent of tyranny and examines their limitations in stopping tyrannical intent. Public contestation is put forward as an equally significant bulwark against the advent of tyranny, but also a space under tremendous pressure during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Abstract 206 | NILQ 2021 72.AD1.2 O'DONOGHUE Downloads 69