Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Beyond the law

American Thinker, "Government by Fiat" on defiance of laws by our elected officials. In San Francisco, it was gay marriages. In Illinois, it's a program to import drugs. In New Jersey it was the flagrantly illegal flouting of law by the NJ Supreme Court in allowing late filing to fill Torricelli's Senate seat.

Once contempt for what the law actually says becomes habitual, our system of governance degenerates into tyranny. At first it may seem to be quite benign, with the dictator acting out of (possibly) genuine concern for the public welfare. But without the restraint of respect for the messy details of what the law actually says, the necessary fetters on untrammeled and arbitrary power are lost.

Read it all.

My fear is that without a balancing Executive Branch to reign in the defiant official, we no longer will be a nation of laws, but a succession of strong men. Imagine Janet Reno's reaction to such extra-legal actions. There would be no action. It fits the Socialist-Liberal agenda. If our laws are flouted for convenience for partisan politics or to advance a social agenda, what laws will contain those who would oppress? The vicious partisanship that dictates that laws of men do not apply to the elected will eventually punish non-conformity.

In the last presidential election, in Florida, the state Supreme Court intervened to prevent the certification of the election as required by law. They did this without popular outcry. And that may be the crux of many of our problems. Not law or enforcement, but an educated electorate and a means of coalescing their outrage. This will be battling the disinformation and misinformation and no-information campaigns by our elite media.

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