FBI DIRECTOR James Comey's announcement that he would not recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton for violation of the Espionage Act (despite finding in excess of 110 e-mails sent or received by her via private e-mail outside of legally required, authorized channels of the State Department) constitutes a historic betrayal of a bedrock principle of American jurisprudence since the founding of the republic: equal justice under law. If anyone had a doubt as to whether the principle that no one is above the law remains a central tenet of the FBI and the Department of Justice, Comey removed that doubt infamously. He established the existence of two sets of law in the U.S.: one for the common man and the other for the politically well-connected.
The phrase, "Equal Justice Under Law," engraved atop the main portico of the Supreme Court Building, used to be a mainstay of all honorable public servants at the FBI and the Department of Justice, but FBI Director Comey, whose job it is to investigate law violations by U.S. citizens regardless of their station in life and refer violations found to Justice for prosecution, publicly rendered it a mere shibboleth when he refused to recommend the former Secretary of State for prosecution, despite FBI referrals of lesser government servants and military personnel who committed far less extensive and significant violations of the Espionage Act.
In the American Revolution, Thomas Paine echoed the fundamental principle of equal justice in his famous retort: "In absolute governments the King is law," but "in America the law is King." In his seventh "Novangulus" letter, John Adams wrote that justice depends on "a government of laws, and not of men," by which he meant law applied to all equally rather than to some selectively.
Indeed, in the very decision that established Federal judicial review, Marbury v. Madison (1803), Chief Justice John Marshall famously wrote: "The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, not of men."
The malevolent will of government officials to exceed the limits of the law and escape justice was to be ruled out in our republic. The very notion of justice depends on equal justice or else the republic devolves into chaos and tyranny. The law is to be applied equally to the rich as well as the poor, the politically powerful as well as the apolitical, the president as well as the citizen; although an ideal never truly realized, it was an ideal no Federal law...