The Rule of Law and President Trump

Lately the idea of “The Rule of Law” is in the newspapers and public discussion. The Rule of Law, which has antecedents in antiquity, in the Magna Carta and the US Constitution, has two aspects.

The first is that your rights as a citizen are intrinsic to your being, they are “inalienable rights.” They are not granted by a king, ruler, president or government, and can not be taken away.

The second is that the law applies to everyone equally, that neither class, race, gender, nor any type of identity denies you the protection of the law; from that flows the notion that nobody is above the law. To be sure, this is the ideal and the reality has always fallen far short.

We do not yet know whether President Trump has broken any laws. There is a formal investigation, however.

But we can say for sure that President Trump thinks he is above the law. The examples of this are many, but three readily spring to mind: his idea that he can pardon himself, that he can not be guilty of obstruction of justice, and that he is not subject to the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

This makes the midterms even more important. If we Democrats can not take back the House and perhaps the Senate, the “Rule Of Law” will come under increased attack. So if you value your “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” get out there and vote for a Democrat, vote for Leslie Cockburn, vote for Tim Kaine.

Louis Harpster