"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ignorance of the Law

One of the principles of the law is that to be effective it must be published, so that citizens may know what it is they must conform their behavior to.   A secret law is no law at all.    Thus, for public laws, we rightly say that "ignorance of the law" is no excuse, because the citizen has had a reasonable opportunity to know what is expected of him, and to act accordingly.

A corollary to this is that a law, though published, that is too vague to be understood by a reasonable man, is null and void.   They call this Constitutional argument the "void for vagueness" argument.  Essentially, if a law is too vague to be understood and acted upon by citizens, it violates due process.

What then are we to make of this law?   How exactly are men supposed to conform their behavior to this?

These are the regulations promulgated thus far to implement Obamacare. Do you know what's in them? Does anyone? And, if not, do we still live under the rule of law? Or do we live at the mercy of a bureaucracy in Washington, that may order us about as it chooses?

Dark times.

1 comment:

  1. Dark times indeed.

    Godspeed, fellow member of the AoSHQ Moron horde.