Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hillary’s Soft Despotism

The first precedent for judicial review.

In his Second Institutes and as a judge and eventually chief justice of the King’s Bench, Coke attempted to extend the “common right and reason” of natural law and common law to include procedural concepts of due process (Forkosch 1973). In Dr. Bonham’s Case (1610), for example, he stated that the Royal College of Physicians, which had been incorporated by Parliament, could not act as judges, ministers, and the recipients of fines. In what was to become known as Coke’s Dictum he declared an Act of Parliament void: One cannot be judge in his own case.... And it appears in our books that in many cases the common law will control Acts of Parliament, and sometimes adjudge them to be utterly void. For when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed,the com- mon law will control it and adjudge such an Act to be void.

Hillary’s Soft Despotism

She prefers the hidden authoritarianism of the vast and growing administrative state.

In the American iteration, at least, this often means the same federal agency that writes the rules also enforces and adjudicates them—a confluence of powers Madison once called the “very definition of tyranny.”