Rule of Law in America is in tatters

We are no longer a nation under the “Rule of Law.” The “rule of man” now prevails, as we are more and more governed by individuals — elected and appointed — in the executive branch of government. Too often, these individuals arbitrarily exercise powers belonging to Congress under the Constitution.

It has become the norm in the current administration’s playbook to follow a “selective enforcement” policy. President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Obama’s regulators have abused the rule of law, preferring to enforce only those laws they choose to. Enforcement of these laws seem mostly to apply to people who do not share Obama’s political positions. In particular, the Department of Justice selectively enforces laws by failing to prosecute those who break laws that Obama disagrees with.

The rule of law has been one of the major contributing factors to America’s greatness, and to its worldwide economic leadership in modern times. In fact, the American Declaration of Independence is essentially a document complaining about the decrees of one man against the American colonies: England’s King George III.

The rule of law in the U.S. is based on the fundamental doctrine that the individual is sovereign.

Individuals band together and, using due process, make a body of laws agreed to by all. The individual is the master over government, and laws are not issued by some king, dictator or tyrant. The “king” is not the law; the rule of law is king.

The U.S. rule of law is based on principles that safeguard against arbitrary governance, clearly described in our founding documents. Selective enforcement is an absolute violation of the rule of law because it allows persons to decide which laws will be ignored and which will not.

Without question, under Obama, the rule of law is crumbling because executive orders, decrees and regulations issued by his administration are capricious and based both on political currents of the times and the whim of tyrannical individuals with their own agendas. These people choose to both grant and revoke legal rights, placing the targets of their despotism under an arbitrary system of administrative rules written by these same individuals.

Want examples?

  • The Obama administration violated its duty to enforce current immigration laws that require undocumented foreign nationals to be prosecuted;
  • Last year, Obama released 165,900 prisoners arrested for illegal entry and subsequent crimes committed in America;
  • Obama’s attorney general failed to enforce the federal law that prohibits people from knowingly concealing or harboring undocumented aliens;
  • “Sanctuary cities” are permitted to violate U.S. laws by offering  immunity from prosecution to illegal aliens, without being punished;
  • The Supreme Court disallows racial quotas, yet Department of Justice zealots call it prejudice and bigotry when lenders in the housing market apply proper business standards to determine if borrowers are creditworthy;
  • Regulators just extorted $25 billion from five banks that used “robo-signers” for foreclosure documents, even though the major portion of the money will go to “homeowners who weren’t affected by the robo-practices” or to “various states,” says a Wall Street Journal column;
  • This week, Obama commuted the sentences of 46 convicts, bringing his total commutations to 90, a higher number than the previous four presidents combined. These offenders knew the penalties for their actions when they violated the law;
  • Obama’s attorney general refused to defend the Congressional Defense of Marriage Act;
  • Obama, not Congress, has dictated that the Web must be regulated by the government as a monopoly.

When Obama doesn’t like the law, he turns to the courts, and when he doesn’t like decisions of the courts, he takes arbitrary executive actions. In his administration, the rule of law is being attacked and the rule of man prevails.

The rule of man permits mob rule and tyranny, in which 51 percent of the citizens can loot the rights and property of the other 49 percent. As journalist P.J. O’Rourke puts it, “If enough voters get together and act in concert, they can take away something and not pay for it.”

When there’s no law, there is no liberty.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.
John R. Smith

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