Thursday, December 19, 2013

Governance by Secret Law

"Lighthouses, John. Lighthouses in a foggy world."
--Henry Connel (Meet John Doe)

Days after the NSA ruling, another federal judge has ruled against the practices of this administration. The judge ordered the Obama administration to release a foreign aid document that it had previously rendered secret.

As Judge Nap notes, the federal government cannot arbitrarily render its activities secret. Rather, the presumption is that of public oversight--that the people have the right to see all that government does. If the government believes that a particular activity or document should be kept secret, then it must prove why this is so.

In her ruling, the judge states, "The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the president should be permitted to convey orders throughout the executive branch without oversight, to engage in what is in effect governance by 'secret law.'"

Judge Nap proposes that these rulings suggest "that the administration is accumulating power in the executive branch not sanctioned by federal law, and not permitted by the Constitution."

Government's lust for power is chronic and long precedes this administration. But the effects are cumulative and likely, at some point, to capture that attention of the people. Perhaps the brazen power grab by this administration is doing just that.

1 comment:

dgeorge12358 said...

Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
~Thomas Jefferson