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After British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had Queen Elizabeth prorogue (suspend) Parliament in order to push through his no-deal Brexit, the decision was challenged in both English and Scottish courts.
With the English court finding for Boris and the Scottish court declaring his actions illegal (and that he had misrepresented the situation to the queen in order to acquire her agreement), the case was passed on the U.K. Supreme Court, for its first major decision.
Today, in a surprisingly unanimous decision, the court found against Johnson, declaring that he gave the queen “advice that was unlawful,” and that his suspension of Parliament was, as a result, also against the law.
The decision centers on whether Johnson was right to suspend Parliament for a full five weeks as the deadline for Brexit approached, and whether he misled the queen, implying the suspension was simply to end the previous session of Parliament and have her give a speech outlining new policy, or whether it was intended to prevent Parliament from blocking the U.K. from leaving the European Union without a deal.
The Supreme Court President Lady Hale went on to say that as a result of Boris’ actions, “the effect on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme.”
Ministers from all parties are now calling on Boris to resign, as are the Welsh and Scottish First Ministers, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon.
"A prime minister with any honour would tender his resignation”— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) September 24, 2019
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says "to have a PM continue under those circumstances is unthinkable", as Supreme Court rules suspension of Parliament unlawful
Live updates: https://t.co/xVMK0ZJXsl pic.twitter.com/MZKtyKeeEJ
Boris Johnson has shown repeatedly that he’s not fit to be Prime Minister.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 24, 2019
He misled the Queen and he continues to mislead the country. Demand better than Boris and join our campaign. #Byebyeboris
Sign up here to help us sack him > https://t.co/EXfadlueoT pic.twitter.com/FO1BZE4PxN
On Twitter, the hashtags #byebyeboris, #BorisOut, and #Prorogation are all trending, with even some Brexit supporters coming out against the prime minister and his actions.
I appear to be in a minority of one as a Brexiteer who is entirely comfortable with the Supreme Court deciding the law. I thought that was what it was all about...— Stephen Pollard (@stephenpollard) September 24, 2019
On @BBCRadio4 just now BJ said that the Supreme Court case was brought by 70+ Parliamentarians who want to stop Brexit. Not true. I am one of the plaintiffs and I voted Leave, but I don't want a #NoDealBrexit— Jenny Jones (@GreenJennyJones) September 24, 2019
Members of the public are also calling for Johnson’s resignation.
#ByeByeBoris— Oolong (@MxOolong) September 24, 2019
Enough of this crap where people say things like 'in normal times, this would be a resigning matter...'
It's 100% clear it's a resigning matter. His position is untenable. In a better country, it would be a 'being arrested' matter. https://t.co/l9D6K1TZXh
Boris Johnson should resign! The Supreme Court ruled that suspending Parliament was unlawful.— Peter Chowney (@PeterchowneyHR) September 24, 2019
He’s given no apology for his disregard for democracy and the rule of law. #ByTheMany #byebyeboris pic.twitter.com/AuJRRopnoS
The only PM to have been found to have unlawfully advised the queen to prorogue parliament by the highest court in the land, ever. Well, @BorisJohnson Off you fuck, then, this isn't a dictatorship. #borisout pic.twitter.com/2cqnnIycqI— Rebecca Sarna-Alexander (@Tutups_) September 24, 2019
There’s even a push for him to face criminal charges.
The Scottish parliament were spot on and now the Supreme Court has caught up. BJ performed an unlawful, criminal act so when will he be charged and sentenced! #byebyeboris— Nic (@wooodnic) September 24, 2019
The Supreme Court found that @BorisJohnson acted unlawfully, therefore he is a criminal.— Vicar of Dimbleby 🇪🇺 #UndemocraticBritain (@Angel2EU) September 24, 2019
As a minimum he must be interdicted from holding public office.
A criminal cannot be Prime Minister
This must be the first debate of the house.#BorisOut
Prison is full of people that “Don’t think the court made the right decision” Mr Prime Minister. Forget about resigning, you should be arrested #byebyeboris— Ryan Davies (@RyanDav60184959) September 24, 2019
There’s a lot of disgust over his approach to the law in general, especially in light of Johnson “disagreeing” with the court’s ruling in an interview.
It is abhorrent that the leader of this country should roll out an ‘I don’t agree with the LAW’ statement. Nobody is above the law. This is dangerous and will only further stoke the flames of division. This man is irrefutably not fit for office and he should resign #BorisOut https://t.co/nYGxOqJqjb— Kevin Cheshire (@kevcheshire) September 24, 2019
Boris Johnson:— Amra Watson #FBPE 🇪🇺 🇬🇧 #Resist 🕷 (@AmraWatson) September 24, 2019
▪Illegally prorogued Parliament
▪Lied to the Queen
▪Lost his first six votes as PM
▪Threatened to ignore the law many times
▪ Dishonest use of public funds ...#BorisOut pic.twitter.com/NYhlZYpSFG
Twitter has also rapidly formed a new fandom around Lady Hale and her spider broach.
Lady Hale looks like the kind of sweet old lady who'd make you tea and offer you a biscuit and then sits down to tell you about all her assassination missions she did for the resistance during the war in occupied France— For Ewa, Amen (@EwaSR) September 24, 2019
fyi here's the content you all need right now... a countdown of Lady Hale's top brooch moments:— Rob Holley (@robholley) September 24, 2019
And the meme game is strong.
Others are playing what may become Johnson’s new anthem.
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org