Just what does that mean?
My best explanation is that police officers are or should be looking for compliance rather than discipline. That in fact- if we could get a motorist to slow down or renew his license upon agreement, then perhaps it was not necessary to issue a ticket. I learned this lesson early on. It came to me as the result of a man who rushed his pregnant wife from a camping trip to the local hospital. He was speeding and he had been drinking when I stopped him in the hospital parking lot. His wife was clearly in labor. He explained that he had no other alternative but to drive her to the hospital. This incident occurred well before the appearance of cell phones.
The driver agreed not to drive again and in fact, the delivery took an eternity. That's how we resolved that situation. To the spirit of the law. Did he break the law? Of course. Did he have an alternative? Not really.
Now that is the compassionate side of the law and I used the spirit of the law frequently in that respect. But there is another side to the spirit of the law. The rule of law. I'd like to give you a definition here.
British jurist A. V. Dicey popularized the phrase "rule of law" in 1885. Dicey emphasized three aspects of the rule of law: (1) no one can be punished or made to suffer except for a breach of law proved in an ordinary court; (2) no one is above the law and everyone is equal before the law regardless of social, economic, or political status; and (3) the rule of law includes the results of judicial decisions determining the rights of private persons.
The United States has been referred to as a nation of laws. Our entire judiciary and legal system is built upon that premise. It is point (2) that I would like to draw your attention to here. Nobody is above the law. That is also the spirit of the law.
Is there anyone out there that truly believes that all people are treated equally in front of the law? If there is, I don't know many. Rather, I believe, a two tiered justice system has evolved. One for the rich, famous, and elite. The power wielders and the connected. And one for the rest of us.
Think Ted Kennedy and the prosecutors that refused to prosecute him for Chappaquiddick. Or Mary Jo Kopeckne's family that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money. True. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Jo_Kopechne
That small town cops have been looking the other way when the Mayor drives home drunk is not news. That shit has been going on everywhere for years. I am also not referring to people like OJ Simpson who was able to evade conviction by throwing his whole fortune at his defense. I mean after all, they at least put him on trial.
Now I'd like to put out a clip I nabbed this a.m. from the International Forecaster.
...mortgage scandal in process, which could drag on for years. It will be interesting to see if any bankers are charged criminally. In all probability none will, they just pay fines, or their corporations do, which is all the government is interested in.
It is hard to escape the idea that we are no longer a nation of laws. This writer doesn't believe it either. The Savings and Loan scandal of the 80's put over 1000 bankers behind bars.
Here's a snip. Note how many politicians were prosecuted. Notice the name McCain. Note also he consorts with democrats. Not lost as many have pointed out his RINO lean for years.
Lincoln Savings and Loan
The Lincoln Savings led to the Keating five political scandal, in which five U.S. senators were implicated in an influence-peddling scheme. It was named for Charles Keating, who headed Lincoln Savings and made $300,000 as political contributions to them in the 1980s. Three of those senators—Alan Cranston (D-CA), Don Riegle (D-MI), and Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ)—found their political careers cut short as a result. Two others—John Glenn (D-OH) and John McCain (R-AZ)—were rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising "poor judgment" for intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Keating.
Justice and the law are no longer important. Legally extracting fines, stealing money, is all that matters. Government has no problem attacking some idiot schmo like Bernie Madoff- naked with thousands of angry NY elite and charities calling for his head. But when the government-banking mob rips off the world, nothing happens.
This 1.5 quadrillion worldwide mortgage catastrophe has netted precisely ZERO prosecutions. In fact, I still believe that transferring my money to bail out private banks is illegal. I have not been able to find a single law that permitted Hank Paulson to use our tax money to lend to automakers, insurers, or banks.
I don't give a shit whether that administration or this one thought it was absolutely necessary or not. It was not permitted by law. That is not the spirit of the law. When you are supposedly the role model for the world, you simply cannot break laws as you see fit. Then turn around and expect your citizens to obey the law while you break it. That the FED and it's member banks, with the aid of government and bought off politicians accomplished this defies belief. Les fete complet.
Remember my drunk driver experience? His alternative to driving his wife to the hospital while under the influence was to try and deliver a baby at a campsite and hope for no complications.
What were the alternatives to obeying the law during the bank meltdown? We don't really know- nobody told us. We didn't have a choice because we were not given any information. On purpose.
You simply can't enforce the "spirit" of the law or possibly break it if you absolutely have to- without knowing the alternatives and the consequences. That is the crux of this piece.
(2) no one is above the law and everyone is equal before the law regardless of social, economic, or political status
Pure bullshit. The Tea Party is coming. These bastards ought to be thankful we are not 17th century France, sharpening guillotines in the square.