LAW DAY REFLECTIONS: Douglas J. Peterson

Preserving the rule of law ought to be the common project of each branch of both the federal and state governments, and that of each citizen.  Most fundamental to this common project is active assurance of the separation of powers, which is under ever-present threat of either deliberate or negligent erosion.  Insisting that government officials respect the limits on their power confirms Thomas Paine’s observation that while “in absolute governments the king is law,” “in America the law is king.”  As Justice Stephen Breyer recently remarked, “if the public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, …”. This Law Day, let us re-dedicate ourselves to this most noble and enduring project of affirming the rule of law.

Douglas J. Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

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