David Gregory will not be prosecuted for brandishing a high-capacity magazine during his matinee of political theater a few weeks back, despite the fact that not only was this against the local law, but his staff had called the authorities and knew it was illegal. “Prosecutorial discretion,” we’re told.
Another David, David French (of National Review, the US Army JAG Corps, and the American Center for Law and Justice) is honest enough to acknowledge that such a prosecution would have been absurd, but notes that “so is the law under which he would have been prosecuted. In fact, if absurdity were a defense to prosecutions or other adverse legal actions, an enormous swathe of our regulatory state would be swept away. ” (Not that this would be a bad thing, mind you.)
But then he offers us the QotD:
Can we even speak of the rule of law as a meaningful concept when we combine an explosive regulatory state with near-absolute prosecutorial discretion? As many others have noted, the regulatory state makes ever-more conduct — even benign conduct — unlawful, while absolute discretion grants the prosecutor the right of the King’s pardon. Overlay that legal reality with a stark red/blue divide, and the situation is ripe for the most base forms of political and personal favoritism.
Remember back at the Democratic convention, when they announced that “government is the only thing we all belong to?” Well, they meant it, but they forgot to mention that they wanted to belong to it as rulers, and the rest of us would belong not as citizens, but subjects.