Attorney general nominee William Barr explained during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday why the rule of law is important in America.
“As our framers said in the Federalist Papers, the art of setting up a government is to have a government that is strong enough to perform the functions that a government has to perform while at the same time not being so strong that it can oppress its own people,” Barr responded to Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz when asked why the rule of law matters.
“The rule of law ensures precisely that the government not oppress its own people,” Barr continued. “When people are accused of wrongdoing, our system essentially gives them the benefit of the doubt and gives them rights that bring them up essentially to the same level as the government.” (RELATED: AG Nominee Barr Says He Won’t Fire Mueller Without Good Cause)
Barr resolved that the American judicial system was established so that all Americans would be provided the same basic protections.
“The process that we go through is there to ensure that justice is not arbitrary, but that it’s done according to a set of rules and the basic protection that we have is that the rule that applies to one applies to all,” he said. “That, at the end of the day, is what keeps us all free. That is the protection of individual freedom.”
Barr was nominated by President Donald Trump to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he was asked to step down from the position. He previously served as attorney general from 1991 until 1993 under former President George H.W. Bush.
“To me, the rule of law is exactly that: that we don’t allow special rules to go into effect for a particular individual. A rule has to be universalized,” he said. “Anything we do against ‘A’ has to be universalized across everyone who is similarly situated — that’s our basic protection and to me, that’s what the rule of law is.”
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