Let’s not forget the “rule of law”

I fear it has been forgotten, or perhaps was not finely ingrained in some who should know better.

Just today I heard a commentator talking about “BlogoGate” where Governor Blogojevich had appointed Mr. Burris to the Illinois senate seat. The comment was in essence that since “Blogo” was such a despicable person he had no right to appoint someone to that seat.

Let’s be clear: if Blogojevich is guilty of what is alleged, then he is despicable. It’s easy to assume that the allegations are in large part true. But he is still the Governor of the State of Illinois and until removed, he has every legal right to make the appointment. Should he? Politically or morally, should he? I think not, but that’s not the test.

We have laws which we all should follow. Just because one believes that Gov. Blogojevich has broken the law and should be impeached does not justify ignoring what he apparently has the legal right to do. Impeachment is for the Illinois legislative body and until impeached and convicted, or indicted and convicted, he is still the Governor with all the powers attendant to that office.

This is a constitutional matter, not just a choice or matter of preference.  The issue is fundamental to our personal liberties.  It’s all too easy to blast a now-unpopular politician, but the same principle applies to the ordinary citizen accused of a wrong-doing.

Again, to be clear, I in no way condone or defend his alleged actions but I wish we could defend the notion and knowledge of the rule of law.


About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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One Response to Let’s not forget the “rule of law”

  1. achosen1 says:

    It reminds me the story we had in Israel with our former president. Only that this guy was suspected on rape and sexual assault of 10 women.

    He hired good lawyers that gained time by cheap juridical tricks and kept him in a not-have-to-quit-just-because-one(10 actually)-believes-that-he-is-a-serial-raper position for several months.

    If I understand you correctly, it is formally a right sacrifice that should be made to sustain the system. The question is what has to be done to avoid such situations, and is there a way to define line that this principle can not cross.

    I must say that I don’t have an answer to these questions and I can’t think of any way to make some order in this gray area. The only partial solution I can see is to let it happen and keep the people actively pissed off that there is nothing they can do.

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