No One Is Above the Law

The chief executives of Brazil, Israel, Venezuela, and the U.S. are all currently under investigation and/or in the midst of a dispute with their own departments of justice. In which of these countries will the fundamental principle of democracy–that no one is above the law–be upheld?

A very interesting reaction has occurred in Israel, where the leader is not being investigated for winking at domestic racism or using terror weapons against civilian populations but simply for the humdrum crime of economic fraud. Despite the relatively minor nature of this allegation, calls are being voiced in Israel for their chief executive to step down as soon as indicted, not waiting for what might turn into a media circus trial continuing endlessly and imperiling the security of the state by distracting its chief executive from performing his duties. However much one may look askance at the daily performance of the Netanyahu regime, this call from the broader public to take democracy seriously by removing power temporarily from chief executives under legal investigation should be evaluated immediately by all democracies whose governments face such a crisis: all should be under the law, especially those with the most capability for bending the law in their own personal favor.

There is, of course, an alternative, namely, placing the judicial branch of government directly into the back pocket of the chief executive, as Putin and Erdogan have done and as Maduro is desperately trying to do.


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