Willie Stark on the Constitution

On a recent vacation, I read again Robert Penn Warren’s classic novel All The King’s Men. Willie Stark, the novel’s fictional Governor of an unspecified southern state, offers many choice comments about law, politics, and human nature.  Here is one that I liked:

“The law is always too short and too tight for growing humankind. The best you can do is do something and then make up some law to fit and by the time that law gets on the books you would have done something different. Do you think half the things I’ve done were clear, distinct, and simple in the constitution of this state?

“The Supreme Court has ruled–” Hugh Miller began.

“Yeah, and they ruled because I put ’em there to rule it, and they saw what had to be done. Half the things weren’t in the constitution but they are now, by God. And how did they get there? Simply because somebody did ’em.”

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