Trey Gowdy said this, in this week’s hearings:
To our fellow citizens watching at home, be unrelenting in your expectation of our justice system. Never lower those expectations. Respect for the rule of law is the thread that holds the tapestry of this country together. And it depends upon you having confidence in those you empower to enforce the law. And importantly, do not ever accept the notion that those victimized or impacted or negatively treated because of bias or prejudgment have any burden of proving harm. Bias is intrinsically harmful. It is the making up of your mind based on anything other than the facts. We use a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales to symbolize what we want in a justice system. And there is nothing more antithetical to justice than lowering that blindfold and making up your mind based on who is standing in front of you. That is not who we are. That is not what we should ever become. There is a saying in the courtroom, “May justice be done until the heavens fall.” You won’t hear that saying in politics. You’re more likely to hear “Let’s win at all costs, the heavens be damned.” We can survive with politicians we don’t trust. We can’t survive with a justice system we don’t trust.
This is a clarion call for Americans to hold their government’s feet to the fire. Justice is a mockery if it’s not, well … just. Our justice system, the judicial branch of our government, has been designed on purpose to provide fairness to its citizens. It has been designed to give equal treatment to all citizens regardless of their station in life. I understand that is far from our reality, but this should be our expectation. Always, but especially in regards to the very government over us, we must require our justice system to be fair and upright, upholding the law and enforcing it.
Moreover, as Trey said, we cannot diminish that expectation in the slightest. Anything that we detract from justice is less than just, which makes it unjust. If our elected officials, our appointed government officials, are allowed amnesty from the same justice required of America’s citizens, our justice system is corrupted.
The rule of law that Gowdy rightly explains holds the nation together was aptly defined by the World Justice Project as having four universal principles, abbreviated as follows:
- The Government as well as its citizens are accountable to the same law.
- The laws are just, clear, and applied evenly.
- The Government enacts, enforces and administers these laws fairly and efficiently.
- Dispute resolutions are accessible and impartial.
Interestingly, it’s literally defined by Google’s dictionary as, “the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws”.
Please note “the restriction of arbitrary exercise of power”. Arbitrary, chance, subjective, random… In other words, the rule of law is the same for the government as it is for the governed. The application of those laws cannot be arbitrary, or subjective, or random.
Trey has underscored that the American constituency must have confidence that our justice system will in fact enforce our laws fairly and justly. I realize that confidence has been shaken over and again, but in order for America to avoid a banana republic government, we must have our justice system fair and impartial, upholding the law and the expectation of the rule of law.
It kind of reminds me of when Jesus tells the disciples that if the cities they spread the gospel in do not receive the message of the gospel, their judgment will be more unbearable than Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed by fire and brimstone. If we cannot enforce the rule of the law for our highest authorities charged with not only upholding but enforcing our laws, we must apologize and give the same leniency to all of our criminals held to the standard of justice we purport.
Gowdy even makes a sidebar comment about not allowing bias to go unpunished. He strongly asserts that bias is unacceptable in the justice system as it is a direct perversion of the definition of justice. He sides with those harmed by bias, explaining they need not show the damage of the bias because the bias is its own damage.
He strongly draws on Lady Justice, the symbol and ideology for justice, and the concept of justice being blind. He admonishes us to keep the blindfold on when enforcing the law, and I think the implication is there will be a tendency for us to have our own biases on enforcing (or restraining from) the law if we view the individuals by our own merits as we esteem them. Simply put, the law is the law. We must be diligent for the enforcement of the law at every level.
Trey is warning us because the contents of the (redacted) IG report contain evidence of illegal, unethical and immoral actions of the highest offices in our land. The tendency is to play partisan judgments and to excuse people if they’re favorites, or worse, the highest elected offices in the land. Should that occur, justice would indeed be perverted and it would set a precedence of unraveling in our nation of monumental proportions.
Gowdy, a seasoned federal prosecutor and solicitor before becoming a representative, calls upon a work slogan the judicial system is familiar with: “May justice be done until the heavens fall.” This is a crisp way of declaring there is no relaxing of justice’s standards here on earth until time runs out, because justice on earth is always needed, and needs always be vigilant. He then starkly contrasts justice and the justice system with politics and politicians, inferring politicians are neither that necessarily concerned with justice, nor that inclined to procure it. And then he sternly warns us of America’s undoing should we find ourselves in a justice system that cannot be trusted.
This is why the IG report should be at the forefront of American’s minds, should be the topic of the media, and should be the ambition of our justice system presently. If our highest offices should be so corrupt as to pervert the law, and then our courts and legislative offices be so lax or wicked as to excuse it, we the people should not rest until justice is truly granted.
If you’ve waded through the 568 page IG report, and if you’ve listened to even some of the Congressional hearings on the IG report, you will see a gross miscarriage of justice. And if it be this glaringly obvious with the redacted report, I cannot imagine what we’d see if the bare bones is exposed.
While the media has been doing a tremendous job of making the immigration policies (that have been the same for a couple decades now) the main topic, we the people need to make an equal or more tremendous job at making the IG report the main topic. We the people need to be standing vigilant for the truth, for the rule of law, and for justice. Or we the people will be constituents of a banana republic, and we can throw accountability of our officials in the sewer.
If we cannot trust our elected officials to respect the rule of law, we must make them.
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