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Whatever happened to a 'government of laws, not of men'?

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Irascible old John Adams enshrined the concept of "a government of laws, not of men," in the 1780 Massachusetts state constitution, but his words expressed a firm conviction held throughout the 13 colonies in the years leading to the American Revolution. It was a powerful idea because it conveyed a fundamental truth: Government should be based on clearly written laws, consented to by...