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The Privileges or Immunities Clause: A Potential Cure for the Trump Phenomenon
Pennsylvania State Law Review (2016)
  • M. Arkam Faizer, Lincoln Memorial University - Duncan School of Law
The xenophobic authoritarianism of Donald J. Trump's highly successful Presidential candidacy as well as the popularity of far-right nationalists in other mature democracies traces its origins to the problem of middle class wage stagnation and how this relates to income and wealth inequality, which have both grown dramatically since the 1970s with the advent of free market neoliberalism as the developed world's prevailing economic ideology. Although this problem has manifested itself in all first-world nations, the bleakest example of this problem is found in the United States, where inequality and socio-economic immobility inform much of the impetus behind Mr. Trump's popularity. 
“The Privileges or Immunities Clause: A Potential Cure for the Trump Phenomenon?” argues that the problem of inequality and its problematic political consequences is attributable not only to economic globalization, but policy choices undertaken by all levels of government, including the Supreme Court of the United States, which has taken a crabbed and excessively deferential approach to discriminatory and regressive socio-economic legislation, while intrusively subjecting progressive legislation aimed at remediating poverty to a more searching standard of review. The article's thesis is that the Court should end its regressive approach to socio-economic legislation and fulfill its institutional obligation to “bridge” the nation's socio-economic and political divides by finally effectuating the promise of the long mistakenly disregarded Privileges or Immunities Clauses of Article IV, Section 2 and the Fourteenth  Amendment, Section 1, to require all Americans be provided Court-protected socio-economic and political rights consistent with living in a first-world mature democracy. Taking such a jurisprudential approach would provide Americans with the necessary socio-economic and political rights to effectuate the obligations of citizenship and help them regain the cohesion, hopefulness, idealism, and energy of the post-World War II era, such that America can once again take its rightful place as the world's leading nation and authoritarian demagogues like Trump can be effectively delegitimized and consigned to the “ash-heap” of history.
  • Trump,
  • Fourteenth Amendment,
  • Privileges or Immunities Clause
Publication Date
Summer 2016
Citation Information
M. Akram Faizer, The Privileges or Immunities Clause: A Potential Cure for the Trump Phenomenon, 121 Penn. St. L. Rev. 61 (2016).