… is from page 128 of the same book that supplied today’s Quotation of the Day , namely, the 2009 edition of H.L. Mencken’s insightful and thoroughly entertaining 1926 Notes on Democracy :
A judge who jails a well-disposed and inoffensive citizen for violating an unjust and dishonest law may be defended plausibly, perhaps, by legal casuistry, but it is very hard to make out a case for him as a self-respecting man. Like the ordinary politician, he puts his job above his professional dignity and his common decency.
The most important take-away here is that no truly wise and good judge ever regards any legislature as the font of law. Every truly wise and good judge understands that law is always something above any legislature – always something distinct from, and higher than, any legislature’s diktats, pronouncements, and scribblings.