During the March 1954 crisis in Egypt, legal scholar Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri was deemed a hero for defending the democratic political current and demanding, along with the groups supporting Brigadier Muhammad Najeeb, the return of the army to the barracks and the legalization of political parties—a move in preparation for transparent elections under a new constitution, which al-Sanhuri participated in drafting. Only days later, al-Sanhuri was made a martyr to the military’s disregard of the rule of law and its opposition to the independence of the judiciary. The great Egyptian jurist was beaten on the stairway to his courthouse, and the enmity between him and Gamal Abdel Nasser escalated to the point where the judge was forced into retirement and banned from travelling outside the country for years. This is the traditional narrative of the Sanhuri predicament, and one which this paper aims to contest. This narrative neglects the political role played by al-Sanhuri before he was assaulted and purged, a role that involved a great deal of cooperation with the leaders of the military coup d’état, making it difficult to view al-Sanhuri as a mere powerless victim of the Nasser regime’s disregard of the rule of law.