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Richard Primus


Sep 23

11 tweets

Yesterday I met Judge Luttig in person for the first time, when he came to @Michigan Law School to be our Constitution Day speaker. A thread: (1/11)

For many years, Judge Luttig to me embodied so much of what I disagreed with in the world of constitutional law. I thought he was so wrong about so many things. I’m confident he’d have thought the same of me. (2/11)

Our disagreements are still deep and important. But right now we agree about some of the most important issues facing our constitutional democracy. Most of all, we agree about the threat posed by Trump and Trumpism. (3/11)

For the last several months, Judge Luttig has been working with others to try to get people who voted for Trump and who have identified with the GOP to recognize the reality of the threat and to do what’s necessary to meet it. (4/11)

That’s hugely important. It doesn’t make my areas of disagreement with Judge Luttig go away, but it’s hugely important. And what I want to say about it most of all is this: (5/11)

It’s relatively costless for someone like me to keep saying that Trump, Trumpism, and the people who enable it are threats to the Republic. I’ve been a Democrat since before I was old enough to vote. But for someone like Judge Luttig… (6/11)

…for someone like Judge Luttig, it’s genuinely costly. It costs you friendships and other long-term relationships you value. It exposes you to excoriation by reference groups from whom you used to draw positive reinforcement. (7/11)

In short, it’s a big test of character. One that way too many people have failed. (8/11)

I’d like to think I’d pass that test of character if I were called on to do so. But I don’t know that I would, because I haven’t been tested. It’s not my party that nominated and supported (and still overwhelmingly supports) Trump. (9/11)

So without for a moment minimizing the importance of the serious disagreements I have with someone like Judge Luttig, I want to recognize and respect the character he shows in standing up for what is right here. (10/11)

It shouldn’t be unusual. But it is. That suggests that it’s hard, even if it shouldn’t be. Hence my respect. (11/11)

Richard Primus


Constitutional law prof @UMichLaw. Mr. @PrimusEve. Dad. Fourth-generation Cub fan. Lover of ripe bananas and chocolate chip cookies.

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