Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
Can law rule? For law to rule, it must be enforced. But when law is enforced, not it but its enforcers may rule. To bind those enforcers firmly to the law, they, too, would have to be subjected not only to law but also to a still stronger force—which itself may then be lawless. The very effort to secure the rule of law appears to lead instead to ever more powerful human rulers.
Put another way: If we abolish the police and the courts, in order to leave people truly “not under man but under God and the law,”1 we invite disorder. But if we give the police or courts—or their superiors—plenary power to compel obedience, we invite lawless tyranny. Law exists in tension with order, as well as with disorder.
Richard Stith, Securing the Rule of Law through Interpretive Pluralism: An Argument from Comparative Law, 35 Hastings Const. L. Quarterly 401 (2008).