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Jun 01

We’ve Gone from a Nation of Laws to a Nation of Powerful Men Making Laws in Secret

Preface: Some defendants are no longer allowed to see the “secret evidence” which the government is using against them. See this and this.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that judges can throw out cases because they don’t like or believe the plaintiff … even before anyone has had the chance to conduct discovery to prove their case. In other words, judges’ secret biases can be the basis for denying people their day in court, without even having to examine the facts. Judges are also becoming directly involved in politics with the other branches of government.

Claims of national security are being used to keep the shenanigans of the biggest banks and corporations secret, and to crush dissent.

But this essay focuses on something else: the fact that the laws themselves are now being kept secret.

America is supposed to be a nation of laws which apply to everyone equally, regardless of wealth or power.

Founded on the Constitution and based upon the separation of powers, we escaped from the British monarchy – a “nation of men” where the law is whatever the king says it is.

However, many laws are now “secret” – known only to a handful of people, and oftentimes hidden even from the part of our government which is supposed to make laws in the first place: Congress.

The Patriot Act

Congress just re-authorized the Patriot Act for another 4 years.

[more…]

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