Democrats to Rule of Law: We Still Hate You

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I don't know a lot about bills of attainder -- it's not something that comes up much -- so I don't have an opinion on whether the bill to tax some bonuses of bailout receipient employees at 90 percent constitutes one.

However, if it is a bill of attainder, it's clearly unconstitutional. No question about that, of course. So I would expect that when people defend this bill against the claim that it is unconstitutional, they would argue that it is not a bill of attainder, because if is, it's illegal. Unfortunately, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) instead argued that it is legal because it's "fair":

I'm prepared to battle in the courts. Why? Because they look at issues of equity. What does equity mean? It means, who's in here with unclean hands? And if there is a situation where they are taking federal money, such as AIG, and all of a sudden they give retention bonuses, our courts will look at this legislation and say it is fair to give the money back to the American people because the circumstances have changed.

It doesn't matter if it is a bill of attainder because it is fair, you see.

This is, of course, the definition of rule of man: igoring the law and doing what individual people think is best. This is not justice. This is not law. As I've mentioned many times, it is the rule of law which protects our rights. If we don't force the government to follow the law, if we allow them to break the law when it "seems" like the right thing to do, then we cannot expect them to follow the law when it comes time to protecting our rights against a majority who would take those rights away.

Again, I take no position whether this is a bill of attainder. I simply bemoan the fact that many of the proponents of this bill don't care whether or not it is, and further, that it doesn't surprise me in the least.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 21, 2009 9:38 PM.

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