Some commentators and compilers have sensed what they believe is a weakening of the rule of law in the United States. I’ve documented an example in one state.
Conduct surrounding the George Zimmerman case provides additional cause for concern, including prejudicial comments by President Obama and rioting subsequent to acquittal.
To his credit, President Obama did express support for the verdict once it came in, although he inappropriately coupled it with promotion of his political agenda.
Adherence to the rule of law is critical to survival of a free society. This, in turn, requires adherence to five basic standards:
* Clarity of the rules.
* Stability of the rules.
* Notice—the ability of the public to understand the rules in advance.
* Fairness, particularly in the procedures used in enforcing the rules.
* Judicial restraint.
Outside efforts to influence or upset a verdict run contrary to the stability, notice, and fairness standards.