How Vulnerable Would the German Federal Constitutional Court be in the Case of an Authoritarian Populist Takeover Attempt?

The Federal Constitutional Court enjoys a far higher level of trust among citizens than any other state organ in Germany. But that trust could be quickly eroded if an authoritarian populist party decided to turn against the Court, particularly in the case of electoral victories at state and federal levels. This paper examines which features of the German constitutional and legal order an authoritarian populist party could exploit to undermine and ultimately take control of the Federal Constitutional Court, and which options exist to improve the Court’s resilience against such a challenge.