Cicero, Roman Republic statesman, senator and consul, once said “I am a slave to the law so I can be free.”
He understood that without the rule of law, a democratic republic could not exist. Certainly, he would have recognized the warning signs that we now see occurring in our own similar democratic republic 2,000 years later.
Tariffs are imposed by the president on numerous trading partners in contravention to our own laws that give the ability to tax to Congress alone, as well as violating international World Trade Organization rules.
The president takes millions of hotel and resort revenues from foreign governments in contravention to the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
The government inhumanely imprisons refuges on our border and in doing so violates our own asylum laws, as well as the Geneva Convention.
A thousand former government attorneys say the president committed obstruction of justice based on evidence in the Mueller report.
The president and his attorney general disobey and flout legal congressional subpoenas.
The president seeks to illegally allocate funds in contravention to the determinations of Congress.
Our founders realized that without a Constitution, without general compliance to our Constitution and laws, the worst tribalistic and power-seeking aspects of human nature could gain control of our government. In the case of Cicero, he saw laws and democratic traditions routinely violated and he saw the end of the Roman republic before he lost his own head and life.
We can only hope that our lawmakers will intervene or our citizenry will vote to elect those that have respect for the rule of law to stop these violations before it is too late.
Jack Hicks lives in Santa Fe.