Health Check: Checks & Balances are Fighting Fit

26/09/2019 News

Democracies on both sides of the pond have been stretched to new limits in the years since 2016. This latest week has been a particularly acute stress test. But it turns out that the system of checks and balances is in rude health. On Tuesday 24th September, the UK Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling that the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament was indeed illegal. Later that day in the US, Democrats have launched an inquiry into impeachment proceedings against President Trump. This is following reports that President Trump had pressured the Ukrainian President to investigate the son of the frontrunner in the Democratic primary, Joe Biden. In both cases fundamental pillars of democracies are acting to check the abuse of executive power: in the UK, the judiciary and the US, the legislature.

No matter how we might feel about the proceedings in either case, they remain fundamental to our democracy. Using vitriolic language about these systems will put us all at risk, no matter how we might identify politically. That’s why responses to the past events have caused such outrage. Talk of “constitutional coups” and “hoaxes” is deeply worrying. The Executive’s penchant to undermine the judiciary or legislature through language and actions will not end well.

Fair Vote UK is waging its own battle to hold the powerful to account. With your support, we’ve raised nearly £12k for legal fees for our new case in Mississippi. This case will determine if UK citizens’ data was off-shored by Arron Banks’s companies to be used without people’s consent. To donate, please go to or share the link on Facebook or Twitter to raise support. Checks on power are fundamental to our democracy. That might be at the highest court in the land or in Congress, or it might even be in a court in Mississippi. We’ll also have an update for you soon about our judicial review against the government for failing to have a public inquiry into the EU referendum.