By Adam Liptak, New York Times
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s blustery attacks on the press, complaints about the judicial system and bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law, legal experts across the political spectrum say.
Even as much of the Republican political establishment lines up behind its presumptive nominee, many conservative and libertarian legal scholars warn that electing Trump is a recipe for a constitutional crisis.
“Who knows what Donald Trump with a pen and phone would do?” asked Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer with the libertarian Cato Institute.
With five months to go before Election Day, Trump has already said he would “loosen” libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations. He has threatened to sic federal regulators on his critics. He has encouraged rough treatment of demonstrators.
His proposal to bar Muslims from entry into the country tests the Constitution’s guarantees of religious freedom, due process and equal protection.
And, in what was a tipping point for some, he attacked Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of U.S. District Court in San Diego, who is overseeing two class actions against Trump University.
Trump accused the judge of bias, falsely said he was Mexican and seemed to issue a threat.
“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace,” Trump said. “OK? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be…