Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Rule of Law - Is a secret law really law?

Can a law that no one knows exists actually be a law?

In my earlier article Rule of Law vs. Arbitrary Command I describe the Rule of Law as meaning that those subject to that law know what actions the government will take when they perform certain actions. A clear description fo the Rule of Law is:
Rule of Law means that the government provides administrative certainty. In a given situation, the law is superior to the arbitrary decisions of administrators and the law states what actions the government can and will (or will not) take. It is extremely important for the government to be restricted and bound by law as well as individuals.
This is critical for the Rule of Law to exist and to be a controller of government actions.

Senator Russ Feingold is conducting hearings into the secret Executive Orders that the Bush administration has used to justify man of their actions. The New York Times has reported that
the administration believed that the president could ignore or modify existing executive orders that he or other presidents have issued without disclosing the new interpretation.
Is this really the Rule of Law?

The Rule of Law has at least three meanings:
First, rule of law is a regulator of government power. Second, rule of law means equality before law. Third, rule of law means procedural and formal justice.
Secret Law as practiced by the Bush administration does not regulate government power, and it fails to provide procedural and formal justice in the sense of providing administrative certainty.

Sorry, Bush. You guys are violating the Rule of Law with this garbage.

Since the Rule of Law is essential to enforcing the U.S. Constitution, the members of the Bush administration have been in violation their oath to support and defend the Constitution, an oath taken by every U.S. government employee before embarking on their job.

To answer the question - No. A secret law is not really law. Not as the American legal system and the Constitution view it. A secret law is simply UnAmerican.

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