Secret rules

The essence of the rule of law is that everyone knows what the rules are and can make decisions accordingly. It is antithetical to the rule of law that the government would have secret rules, rules that are not disclosed but that the country is answerable to nonetheless.

The Chicago machine is infamous for its contempt for the rule of law, so it’s not too surprising that, if you put the Chicago machine in charge of the federal government, you would get the same contempt at the federal level.

Two examples of secret rules from the Obama administration recently came to light:

One is out of the Justice Department, in which the voting section draws up its own redistricting plans to promote minority representation. The Justice Department rejects plans that don’t look enough like their own, but they won’t come out and reveal their plan.

The other is out of the Department of Education, in which the online colleges were audited using a new accounting rule that had never been disclosed to them.

Note that both instances advance the administration’s political interests. In the former case, the administration wants as many minority representatives as possible. In the latter case, the administration wants to hurt on-line schools (traditional schools were not judged using the new secret rule).

Holding back this sort of Chicago politics is exactly what the rule of law is for.

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