Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Rule of law vs Rule by law

Rule of law vs Rule by law.

Constitution is the supreme law. Laws are created under this constitution framework and are subordinated to the constitution. Policies, rules, procedures etc. are created to help implement the laws. When law rules supreme this way, it is the former, the rule of law.

When this order of importance is altered and/or priority is shifted based on convenience, it becomes the latter, the rule by law. The latter paves way for a shadow government run by individual or group. It then ceases to be a true democracy. It is “democrookcy” rather.

What do you think?

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I believe man ruling another man was never in God’s original plan. Man was supposed to rule only over nature and other creatures. So originally everything functioned based on rule of law.

Genesis 1:27-

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

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[quote=“jmonickaraj1, post:1, topic:9839”]
Rule by law./quote]

I see it as you’re close, but left out some important things.

rule by law can happen in a democracy…
We have rule by law in the US (we shouldn’t) and we are a constitutional republic…never have been a democracy.

check out the more complete definitions below & see what you think


Thank you very much, Fiddle_wood. Interesting… Sounds like then some are already aware of this distinction. Good, this helps with my own research! Now it makes me introduce another term to address the government - hypocrisy! :wink: That is, practice rule by law but call it rule of law!!


As per a blog the explains democracy vs republic difference…

the U.S. Constitution outlines a system of government that allows people to fairly vote on representatives, and those representatives make laws in accordance to the people’s will.
Considering all of this, the United States works as a combination of a constitutional, presidential, and federal republic!

In order to operate as a democracy, the United States has to have free and fair elections, citizen participation in government, protect citizens’ human rights, and honor the rule of law. The United States meets all four the criteria to qualify as a democracy.

If laws are fair and if they follow proper hierarchy - Constitution->Federal/State laws->Federal/State agency laws/policies/rules/procedures, it can still be rule of law. So the term “rule by law” sounds more like an invention to take cover to escape liability. I believe courts can and should establish liability for unfair laws and/or improper application of laws.

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The US meets the rules of a democracy because the rules for a democracy and a republic are very similar. Keep in mind, though, that US citizens don’t directly elect the president. That’s up to the electoral college. While some states have some form of law in place to bind electors to reflect the votes for that state, not all do. In 2016, Bill Greene of Texas cast his electoral vote for Ron Paul (who wasn’t even running) because his conscience wouldn’t allow him to vote for either Clinton or Trump.

As the old saying goes, a democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Liberty does not survive in a democracy.

Also, a constitutional republic is only as free as its citizens are educated about its governing document. Sadly, most of us graduate high school, and even college without having read the constitution at all.

It’s no wonder so many of our rights are being violated by the very people we elected to protect them.


Thanks Mark for the insights. Yeah I understand the idea behind the electoral vote in general.

My rights are being violated severely, which I have tolerated for several years, and hence I wrote to the senator just a couple of weeks ago. My first post is a piece from whatever was in the letter. Everyone understands natural law (or justice). Laws are created to systematically approach a situation to deliver that justice instead of leaving it to the arbitrariness of an individual. So even if laws are such that wolves eat sheep for dinner, constitution comes in the way and prohibits such applications. So if it is presented in such a way that people’s court can understand or see through, wolves will desist from such application for people to have continued faith in democracy. You don’t even need to know my specific situation to understand the right violation scenario. I have written it in such a way that even a simple person can understand, but at the same time logical, legal and forceful enough for experts in law to not hide or escape. Both facts and law are against them. If I don’t get a response, I have to read books on constitutional law to take it up further. My request is very simple to satisfy, basically should cost nothing in some sense. So hope they settle it before that. Or better they do it.

I use this case law Riggs v. Palmer , 115 N.Y. 506 (1889) which disallows wolves eating sheep, for example.

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I’ve heard it as Rex lex vs lex rex which is Latin, and translates to king is law vs law is king. A pure democracy would allow wolves eating sheep if there’s more wolves than sheep, it’s not until you add a constitution to the democracy that it becomes a working system. The US happens to be a constitutional democracy/republic, at least officially. Now I don’t know what’s going on in the states right now, but I probably wouldn’t like it if I did

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See, Gunnar got it!. US will now be afraid. US constitution is good. Federal (and probably state) laws are good too. I do not see issues there. The issues are with agencies. I know US is taking steps to correct it but they have to address my case specifically as well.

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Well, you can watch the constitution being violated right now, in real time, right this minute. As to free and fair elections…boy, now wouldn’t that be nice? However, there is a specific group of people in our country who don’t want that and they go out of their way to make voting and true representation as difficult as possible utilizing the most nefarious means at their disposal. Also, at the same time they either outright deny or simply turn a blind eye to foreign actors attempt to manipulate our democratic process.


I understand such constitutional violations which affect people collectively where it is difficult to gather facts to prove one’s side. Sometimes it can be a good political discussion point.

I;m talking about more serious individual case where you have law and facts in favor of you. Where there is constitutional right violations as a result of corruption, obstruction of justice etc. Where conflicting law situations making it impossible to obey the laws. So to not lose the seriousness, I hype it this way. For argument sake, government does not compensate you or provide alternate way but simply comes and takes your house all of a sudden for no fault of yours and leaves your in the cold? Expecting that you have your friend’s house nearby to keep you warm for the night and probably to live until you can earn money to find another accommodation. How would you feel? How would people in general take it in such cases? Should that then not concern the government??


Speaking of rights violations and ruled by law…

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Good, I like the counter points/arguments. I’m not in favor of such act or laws.

But it differs from some other “rule by law” laws or applications in that

  1. Patriot Act is temporary, at least in paper.
  2. Again it is not the norm but exception.
  3. It is open, and not hidden, nor does it undermine things in a sneaky way.

So to contrast it with other “rule by law” cases, I will quote another point from my letter to show what is going on.

Begin quote.

Ambiguity in law.

“Ambiguity is a creature not of definitional possibilities but of statutory context.” Such laws produce 3 scenarios without doubt – compliance to law outright, compliance to law on context basis, violation of law. A definitive set of policies, rules, procedures etc. cannot possibly positively identify non-compliance scenario. Rather it requires ruling out of other 2 compliance scenarios.

End quote.

So here is where agencies violate laws during application. They simply ignore context! And when they do so, it becomes rule by law. Then they (or interest groups behind them) float things like “rules are rules and procedures are procedures!” to justify their acts.

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Yep, what Mark said. The most simple definition of democracy is - majority rules, and that’s a cruel way to govern and the founding fathers knew that and that’s why they came up with the electoral college as specified in the Constitution.

I am aghast at how many people believe we should eliminate the electoral college and yet don’t understand why we can’t just do that, and even more so, why we shouldn’t. I’m saddened when students at Yale and other universities are eager to sign a petition to ban the first amendment, and when women of all ages can be easily convinced to sign a petition to ban women’s “suffrage-ing”, and when college students are taught that the 3rd clause of Article 1, section 2 is racist. I’m discouraged when the 10th amendment is violated by Congress almost on a daily basis and how so many people don’t believe that we don’t have the right to keep and bear arms and that so many other people believe the 2nd amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms. I support law enforcement and believe that most police officers are basically good and yet I’m disgusted when so many local, state and federal cops are ignorant of the law and the Constitution to which they swore an oath to uphold, and then violate citizen’s first, second, fourth, and fifth amendment rights on a regular basis.

I’m really hoping some of you young people on this forum will weigh in and explain the ironies and contradictions I posed in the above paragraph.



@MissMaggie, but how do they violate? Do they not allow you to purchase firearms? Or do you have an example.
Counter point. We can’t carry certain items in carry-on bags in an airplane. Will you consider it rights violation??


Anything the federal government does outside of Article 1 Section 8 is a violation of the 10th amendment. They justify it by saying “we can do whatever we think we need to because of the general welfare and necessary and proper clauses” but that logic is faulty. If the founders intended the federal government to have unlimited powers, why would they have delineated the government’s powers at all? The 10th amendment’s purpose was to reinforce the notion that the states maintained the bulk of the ruling power.

It wasn’t until Lincoln’s time that the Constitution was used to bind the states. Before then, it was well understood that the constitution only applied to the newly formed federal government.


I think I see what you are saying. I agree the individual states should have the real powers. But if there will be federal laws infringing upon state’s guaranteed powers, why don’t the states strike down such federal laws or make federal government explicitly mention such state exception in their laws? Likewise, if state law violated constitution, why can’t federal government strike down such state laws? The fact that such things are not done (I’m assuming here I don’t know for fact though), I assume federal and state laws are fine, or fine for the most part. If implementation violations on either side, then I would expect courts to intervene on policy or case basis.

Because when I read laws, I look at constitution first, then federal laws (immigration laws maybe an exception), then state laws, and then agency laws/policies/rules/procedures, in that hierarchy. For instance, if a state policy violates a federal law, I would like to hold the state agency accountable and liable.

Or do you have example for federal government infringing upon state’s powers or vice versa to better understand?

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You’re asking good questions. Always question everything.

In large part because the 16th amendment allows congress to levy an income tax on Americans. The fed gov uses our own money to bribe our state govs to do their bidding.

Keep in mind that when the USA was formed, it was basically a bunch of small nations coming together to form one big one. Those small nations (states) didn’t want to join a behemoth that could rule over them. The Constitution was written to bind the hands of the new federal government, not the individual states. Under the original interpretation of the constitution, a state should still have the right to do things the federal government did not. That is, in large part, why the Civil War began. It had far less to do with slavery than we’re taught in school.

Maybe, but when I see government regulations 3 times thicker than the Bible, I have doubts. Take a look at how social media legislation is being drafted. The idiots on capital hill don’t know what to do (nothing… they should do nothing) so they’ve asked Mark Zuckerberg to help draft it. Now, do you think he’ll be fair, or do you think he’ll write it to make it harder to form a start up to compete with Facebook?

Any time you actually read legislation, especially regulatory legislation, you can almost always find some sneaky bit that takes away our freedoms because most of it is drafted by the very industry leaders it’s supposed to regulate.

You’d think so, but it often doesn’t happen that way because someone has to challenge it, and if your challenge goes all the way to the Supreme Court, it can cost millions. Most of us just don’t have the resources to fight bad laws.

You’re giving the system too much credit. The checks and balances you’re assuming require that someone actually take the time to enforce. There’s a tiny minority in congress trying to stand up against the Patriot Act (a direct violation of the 4th amendment) and the multiple AUMF bills that have passed since 9/11 (direct violation of due process, among other things.) If the system worked, none of those would have passed in the first place, much less multiple times. The problem is that it increases the power of elected officials.

I can’t stress this enough… your representatives don’t care about you. Positions of power naturally attract the very type of people who wish to abuse that power. Decent, hardworking folks who want to do the right thing are regularly driven out of office by those that have set up the rules of the game in DC. Go watch Thomas Massie’s videos on how DC really operates and your view of our government will be altered forever. Thomas is one of the good guys.


Hi John, good questions. To clarify though, I was referring to several amendments in that post. So, if you’ll allow me…

The Constitution defines the powers, authorities and responsibilities of the federal government, and ONLY those things. The delegates from the original colonies realized that that certain powers would be common to all colonies, so it didn’t make sense, nor was it efficient, for each colony to maintain its own military, currency, certain laws, etc. So these certain “enumerated” powers were consolidated and given to the new federal government and defined in the Constitution. The 10th amendment drives home the notion that ANYTHING not mentioned in the Constitution is left to the individual states. And yet, the federal government takes over health care, education, loans, redefining marriage and science and gender, the environment; they just keep piling on more and more to control our lives, it just never ends.

But what about slavery? one might ask. Yep, that was bad, a stain on our history no doubt. Slavery was prominent around the world throughout history and still exists today. The United States, a relatively young nation at the time, went to war to abolish it and the 13th amendment makes certain of this. Our Constitution is malleable, it can evolve.

The 2nd amendment deals with the right to keep and arms. Some claim we the people don’t have that right because “Militia” or all they had back then were muskets or some other nonsense. As with most other rights in the Bill Of Rights… they are given by God, not the government or even the Constitution. It’s just that, no one had ever bothered to write them down before. This new concept is that The Constitution states that the government cannot take away or infringe on our God given rights.

The first amendment for example - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… - that simply prohibits the federal government from establishing a national or one-nation religion NOR can it prevent the free exercise of religion. It doesn’t say anything about separation of church and state, in fact, the words “separation” and “church” are not even in the Constitution. It doesn’t say that there can be no prayers in schools, it doesn’t say that the 10 Commandments can’t be carved in stone outside the Supreme Court building, it doesn’t say that a school football coach can’t take a knee with his players before or after a game to pray, and it doesn’t say that a baker must bake a cake for anyone nor that a pastor can be compelled marry two people of the same sex. And none of that makes me racist or bigoted. I have friends and acquaintances of different races, cultures, orientations, etc. And yes, I realize some would say “Oh that’s just what a racist would say”. I can say that as a Christian, I won’t turn my back on anyone or devalue anyone because of anything.

The gem I refereed to in my original comment; the Yale students were signing a petition to ban the first amendment, because they don’t like hate speech. So many people believe that the first amendment only covers free speech when in fact, it covers five freedoms, the last of which is - to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. They were signing a petition to ban the right to petition. Wow.

And now, finally, to your question John. Boy howdy, I write long. Anyway, the second amendment is about the right to keep and bear arms. Regardless of what it says about a miltia, and I’m not discounting it, it is important, it’s just another discussion… the 2nd amendment says - the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. So, to clarify my original comment, I’m saying that the 2nd IS NOT what give us the right to keep and bear arms. I’m saying that the 2nd states that our right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed. The 2nd implies we already have that right, it’s just saying that the government shall not infringe on that right.

So, yes, local, state and federal governments make laws preventing many from purchasing firearms using age (young and old) restrictions, unfounded suspicions of whatever, regulations requiring licenses or training or paraphernalia that make it cost prohibitive for many. Also by imposing carry restrictions, type and quantity restrictions, requiring registration and many other tactics to prevent people from purchasing, owning and carrying firearms. The latest push is the Red Flag laws. Government now wants the ability to confiscate our weapons simply based on hearsay with no due process of law. If someone doesn’t like you, they can complain about you to the “authorities” and police show up at your door to steal your property. It’s already happening.

That ALL sounds like infringement to me. But yes, of course we have to draw a line somewhere. Obviously, I don’t want criminals to have guns or the mentally ill, and some others perhaps. It’s just that gun laws, especially so called common sense gun control, only impact law abiding citizens. One must ask oneself, why does more than 90% of gun violence happen in so called “gun free zones” and states and municipalities with the most gun control laws?

I have mixed feelings about that. Not too long ago, certainly in my younger years, we used to be able to carry a gun onto an airplane in our bag or even on our person. I seem to remember a lot hijackings back in the 70s and 80s honestly. On one hand, if I’m assured that no one else on the plane has a gun, I’m OK with checking mine in my checked baggage. But let’s not forget, the 911 hijackers did not have guns, they had box cutters. In a case like that, I don’t want box cutters though, I want a gun. But then there’s the whole - if I shoot and put a hole in the fuselage and the resulting depressurization then causes a massive fiery explosion that kills most of us and the one or two that miraculously survive that still die when the ground rushes up to meet them - thing.

OK, I’m tired and need a nap. It’s about common sense, unfortunately, the government’s idea of common sense and my idea of common sense are miles apart.