“…shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”

Among the wackier claims put forth in four of the lawsuits challenging governor’s virus shutdown orders is that the measures violate the U.S. Constitution by depriving states of a republican form of government. That’s a rhetorical gesture more than a serious legal argument, both because the orders haven’t deprived states of such a form of government, and because the federal courts in any event long ago made clear that the so-called Guarantee Clause can’t be sued over — it’s a political question and not “justiciable.” I’ve got a new piece at The Bulwark looking at the history of attempts to breathe life into the Guarantee Clause and what might happen if courts ever decided to entertain lawsuits under it.

One Comment

  • OK, the Guarantee Clause is probably the wrong way to do it. But the people are entitled to a way to get back our freedom immediately, even during an emergency. Would you prefer we just file petitions for habeas relief, since we’re being confined without charge or trial?