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Perspective: A Government Of Laws, Not Of Men

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The remarks that follow are neither "pro-life" nor "pro-choice." They are pro-constitutional. The vehicle or procedure by which the new Texas abortion law will operate is not only unconstitutional, it is anti-constitutional.

The separation of powers at the core of our constitutional system envisions executive officials administering laws passed by the legislature. If either the law or its administration is unconstitutional, then injured parties sue the government to restore their rights. We have a government of laws, not of men.

Except in Texas. There, the government is prohibited from any role in the enforcement of this law. Private parties, who have suffered no personal injury, harass with civil suits literally anyone who has had literally anything to do with "facilitating" an abortion. They collect a monetary reward from the suit. Two terms describe these "plaintiffs" : bounty hunters or vigilantes.

This bizarre procedure intentionally removes enforcement of the law where it belongs, and vests it with roving private enforcers, where it does not belong. To use a term that should shame any real Texan, this is un-American.

In these times of turbulence, hyperpartisanship, and simmering enmity, the very last thing that we need to do is to encourage people to take the law into their own hands.

I'm Bob Evans and that is my perspective.

Robert Evans is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, Business and Accounting at Rockford University and Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. He is actively involved in the Rockford University public policy program, trains managers on law-related topics, is a political consultant and analyst, and also serves on non-profit boards.