"Fumbling around in half-light"

03 Oct 2011

David K. Shipler, more eloquently than I stated yesterday, discusses the importance of justice:

So, why bother to bring the guilty man in for a fair trial? For thorough truth-finding, one could say, or to uphold the pageantry of constitutional justice, which is a crown jewel of our democracy. To lend unquestioned legitimacy to the ultimate sentence, even if it is death, so the world does not look upon America with repugnance. To keep the trappings of civilized order so that we do not become a vigilante state.

President Obama has an obligation to safeguard the lives of American citizens, but–and this is just as important–he is likewise bound to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.1 To enact justice in the shadows is contrary to the very idea of a constitutional republic; absolute power is the tool of a tyrant, not a democrat.

(Via Conor Friedersdorf, for The Atlantic)