Erosion of Rule of Law by Executive under Guise of Promoting National Security

Response to Rule of Law Tropes in National Security (Authored by Shirin Sinnar)

Introduction

The 9/11 terrorist attack committed on innocent American Citizens on American soil is by far the bloodiest terrorist attack and had numerous casualties. The unprecedented attack set in motion national security policies designed to avert any other attack; these policies have continuously been developed and evaluated by the executive arm of government that is constitutionally mandated to guarantee the security of its citizens.

Erosion of Rule of Law

The Rule of Law Tropes in National Security article focuses on highlighting the erosion of the rule of law by the executive arm of government under the guise of National security. The national security policies are disguised under well established and accepted international legal standards. These endorsements merely exist to serve cosmetic purposes of convincing the general public and the judiciary that the policies are in line with constitutional provisions.

However, the reality is that in an attempt to implement this mandate, the executive arm of government’s national security policies have continuously eroded the provisions of the rule of law and succeeded at insulating national security from external review.

While I  agree that National Security interests and policies deserve priority; their implementation should not be done at the expense of eroding the provisions of the Constitution and the rule of Law. The United States of America is revered for the values it hold dear; these values and practices include: practicing democracy and guaranteeing freedom, equality, and human rights. These values serve as the guiding principles of all governments and should not be contravened in any circumstance because any contravention would go against the very fabric that this country is built on.

The practice and principle of the rule of law restrict the arbitrary exercise of power and the guarantee of equal, fair treatment of all citizens and the unequivocal adherence to the provisions of the Human rights declaration. The Nation’s founding fathers appreciated the need to guarantee the rule of law by establishing the three independent of arms of government; each with its own mandate designed to provide a system of checks and balances. Citizens rely on this system protect them from arbitrary power by any arm of government.

While this system has effectively prevented the chaos that would otherwise exist if this system did not exist; post 9/11executive national security policies and practices indicate that both Congress and judiciary prefer to be spectators in the development of this policies. The effect of their abstinence has led to institutionalized prejudice on the rights of the marginalized groups and an increase in extra-judicial killings, through selective implementation of the rule of law doctrine of ‘reasonable suspicion.’

I agree that the rule of law tropes have effectively misled the courts and the public to draw false equivalences across legal contexts, aimed at obscuring the demand and insistence on the virtues of liberty and the rule of law. While we all agree that the effects and fear instilled by the 9/11 are still alive in us, this fear should not be used as an excuse by Congress and Judiciary from engaging in the development, supervision, and implementation of National Security policies.

 

Conclusion

The fear of being seen as interfering in the nation of the security is not justifiable; in fact, holding any electoral office or judicial position calls holders of these offices is the more reason why these arms of government should actively engage the executive in developing National Security policies. Holders of congressional seats and judicial seats are called to a higher standard of care whose primary focus is developing or interpreting laws and policies that are reflective of the constitution and the needs and values of the American population.

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