In assessing democracy, Beetham gives a list of violations of legal hierarchy. It’s very concerning how many of these are happening by the Trump administration. I have highlighted what Trump is doing is red and what he is trying or has threatened to do in orange. I think its worthy to also note what BLM is trying to address in blue. Blue and red, and blue and orange are not mutually exclusive.
“Of generic modes of subversion, the following are among the most typical:
inadequacies in the judicial process of rights protection, such as insufficient competence or independence of the courts, or systematic obstacles to individual appeal and redress;
use of emergency powers or anti-terror legislation, often against opposition groups, to bypass normal judicial safeguards; and
arbitrary or oppressive policing, including intimidation of protesters, detention without charge, maltreatment in detention, discriminatory treatment of particular groups, collusion with paramilitary forces;
systematic exclusion of certain groups from rights protection — for example, unpopular or vulnerable minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers, or those defined as enemies or opponents of the government outside the national territory.
Subversions of specific rights include:
life and security of the person: incidence of physical assault and murder by other civilians such as to make the public space an unsafe area, whether generally or for specific groups;
unacceptable levels of physical abuse and deaths in custody, whether from poor prison conditions, self-harming, or at the hands of fellow inmates or prison wardens (Winston Churchill’s second-most famous statement about democracy is worth noting here — how prisoners are treated is a good litmus test of democracy’s quality);
freedom of expression: inadequate pluralism in media ownership, views, and public information, whether through state or private oligopoly; defamation laws and the cost of defending them being used to restrict legitimate comment of public officials or private corporations; incidence of official and unofficial harassment of journalists;
freedom of association and assembly: exclusionary rules on registration of voluntary associations, trade unions, or political parties; discriminatory application of registration requirements; loss of independence of voluntary associations through government co-optation or contracts; undue obstacles to public assembly, such as unrealistic timescales for notification, inappropriate locations, police harassment of protesters; and
freedom of information (supposing there is such a legal right in the first place): unduly restrictive “official secrets” legislation, including absence of public-interest defense of “whistle-blowers”; excessive costs of gaining access to legally permitted information.”