Monday, August 10, 2009

The Rule of Law

We need to start talking more about getting a law passed -- even a Constitutional Amendment -- establishing in clear language that each government of the United States must abide by rule of law. That is, all laws must apply equally to the lawmaker as it does to the people.

What is rule of law, or isonomy? " The main point is that, in the use of its coercive powers, the discretion of the authorities should be so strictly bound by laws laid down beforehand that the individual can foresee with fair certainty how these powers will be used in particular instances; and that the laws themselves are truly general and create no privileges for class or person because they are made in view of their long-run effects and therefore in necessary ignorance of who will be the particular individuals who will be benefited or harmed by them. That the law should be an instrument to be used by the individuals for their ends and not an instrument used upon the people by the legislators is the ultimate meaning of the Rule of Law."

Demosthenes commended a law introduced by an Athenian under which "it should not be lawful to propose a law affecting any one individual, unless the same applied to all Athenians, as every citizen has an equal share in civil rights, so everybody should have an equal share in the laws."

What laws would or could remain on the books if rule of law truly were part of the law? Would anyone in Congress support this health care bill?
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