If you think that law is something that a judge can make just by deciding a case that comes before him; or if you think that law is something that a legislature can make just by passing a bill and sending it to a governor or a president for his approval; or if you think that a governor or a president can make law just by means of an executive order, then I would respectfully suggest that you are mistaken about the true source and nature of law.
What is law? Where does it come from and how can I know what it is and what it isn’t?
American law is based on the view that the moral law of the God of the Bible is controlling in all cases. In the Declaration of Independence this moral law is referred to as “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
When human beings, God’s creatures, draw up constitutions and statutes and ordinances and regulations, these enactments are dependent for their validity on their being in harmony with the moral law I just mentioned. If these man-made actions conflict with God’s moral law, then they are not law at all.
Here’s how Sir William Blackstone put it in his famous Commentaries on the Laws of England:
“Upon these two foundations, the Law of Nature and the Law of Revelation (The Bible), depend all human laws: that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these.”
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson used the words “pretended legislation” to describe such vain enactments.
When our local officials, including County Councilmen and Sheriffs, confront such “pretended legislation,” it is their duty to resist its implementation.
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