16 August 2011

"Trust me with extra power; I promise I won't misuse it" is not how the Rule of Law works

PEG 2.0 | Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

Anyone who uttered (or believes) the line “Sure, the statute is written broadly, but we’ll only apply it to those guys” should be thrown down a well.
This is very true. The only problem I see is that there aren't enough wells around to hold all the people who believe this at one point or another.

Sadly, most of the people who believe this about one law are simultaneously very upset about some sort of legislative, regulatory or prosecutorial overreach in some other domain. PEG was commenting on Alabaman legislation which, as written, would make it illegal to give an illegal immigrant a ride to church. I'm willing to bet most of the people objecting to this are perfectly fine with extremely broadly written sexual offender laws, or the similarly broad CPSIA.

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