Morsi’s move to reconvene the parliament leaves Egypt’s legal order “in a complete state of disarray,” says Nathan Brown, a professor at George Washington University. “You've got a parliament that will be meeting now, and might even be passing laws; you've got courts that will probably refuse to enforce those laws. You've got a military that claims it has a legislative role, and a president who says the basis for that legislative role, the supplemental constitutional declaration, he doesn’t acknowledge … you’ve got a completely chaotic situation.”
Dr. Brown says some uncertainty early in the transition was politically healthy because it reassured Egyptians that no one had a monopoly on power. But "at this point, it’s gone beyond healthy uncertainty to complete confusion that is corroding some of the basic institutions of Egyptian legal and political life,” he says.
The parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, met today despite a warning yesterday from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which ruled Egypt after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak until the end of last month, when Morsi took power.