Just as background to the current conflict in Egypt, I want to point to an article that results from statements a high Egyptian judicial official made that were accessed by the New York Times:
Judge Gebali said her own direct contacts with the generals began in May last year, after a demonstration by mostly liberal and secular activists demanding a Constitution or at least a bill of rights before elections. “This changed the vision of the military council,” she said. “It had thought that the only popular power in the street was the Muslim Brotherhood.”I also want to make sure readers of this blog understand that the Constitutional Court was prepared to rule on December 2 that the Constituent Assembly should be dissolved because it was emplaced by the Parliament that it dissolved earlier:
It was also around that time, Judge Gebali said, that she began helping the military-led government draft a set of binding constitutional ground rules. The rules protected civil liberties, she said, but also explicitly granted the military autonomy from any oversight, as well as a permanent power to intervene in politics. “The military council accepted it, and agreed to issue a ‘constitutional declaration’ with it,” she said.
... Egyptian jurists now say that the generals effectively planted a booby trap in the parliamentary elections by leaving them vulnerable to judicial negation at any time — if the generals allowed previous precedents to apply.
... The decision “is in the drawers of the constitutional court, and it could be taken out at any time,” Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri told Parliament’s speaker, Saad el-Katatni of the Muslim Brotherhood, as Mr. Katatni recalled in March from the floor of Parliament.
The Supreme Constitutional Court set 2 December to issue a ruling on the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution.The crisis in Egypt is caused by a judiciary that openly does not believe Egypt's voters should control Egypt's military and therefore Egypt's foreign policy. Many in the United States, ultimately on Israel's behalf, agree with this counter-democratic idea held by Egyptian court officials, people such as Juan Cole, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Thomas Friedman and the entire mainstream US foreign policy community.
Two lawsuits filed against the assembly demanded annulling the law issued on 12 July by the dissolved People's Assembly laying out criteria for the selection of the current Constituent Assembly members.
Deputy head of the Supreme Constitutional Court Maher Samy told MENA that two lawsuits filed against the assembly demand its dissolution for being based on a law issued by the dissolved People's Assembly.
Both lawsuits, according to Samy, contend that the Constituent Assembly constitutes an obstacle to the implementation of the ruling of the Supreme Constitutional Court issued in June annulling the parliamentary elections law and dissolving the People's Assembly.
It is easily predictable even if outrageous to see Americans project their own hostility against democracy in Egypt onto Morsi. So far, Morsi is innocent.
I'll also point to a statement of support for Morsi from Egypt's Nour Party:
"The president's decisions did not come out of the blue; it is clear to anyone following recent political events that there have been attempts to lead the country into a state of lawlessness," Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar stated.I think that's well said, and I suspect a lot more people in Egypt agree with that statement than one might imagine reading twitters aimed at English-speaking audiences.
He pointed in particular to the dissolution this summer of Egypt's democratically elected parliament based on a ruling by Egypt's High Constitutional Court.
The party spokesman asserted that the recent replacement of Prosecutor-General Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud – who, according to Bakkar, "had stood against the revolution" – with Judge Talaat Abdullah, "has given hope to the families of the revolution's martyrs, after everyone had accused the president of not doing enough to attain martyrs' rights."
Bakkar went on to warn against opposition calls to dissolve the Constituent Assembly (tasked with drafting a new constitution) and Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of parliament) and for President Morsi to step down.
"How can we allow a handful of individuals and political forces – which don't represent the people – to bring an end to all state institutions?" he asked.