Intolerance promotes conformity and inevitably creates repression. For example, the repression of freedom of speech from political correctness, censorship, groupthink norms, vague and subjective “hate” speech, and the mob-like, coercive nature of social media.
The “fundamental transformation” or “reimagining” of America sought by the Democratic Party, under the pretense of “social justice” (socialism), with the goal of one-party rule, will result in the authoritarian repression of civil liberties.
Unjust laws will be enacted. American essayist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) questioned whether we should be “content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?” Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) wrote, “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
The ultimate defense of civil liberties is jury nullification of unjust laws. American legal theorist Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) wrote, “There has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused, but that it is also their right to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of such laws.” This principle is codified in Article 23 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, which states, “In the trial of all criminal cases, the jury shall be the judges of law, as well as of fact.”
In a criminal trial it requires only one juror to vote “not guilty” and, in effect, nullify an unjust law. Jurors should disregard the instruction that only judges can rule on the law. Every juror has the independent right to vote their conscience. The claim that jury nullification undermines the rule of law is hypocrisy when state and local governments nullify federal laws by creating “sanctuary cities,” and the selective and discriminatory enforcement of laws.
No person should be convicted of violating an unjust law, especially a law that infringes upon a constitutional right. Unjust laws create a conflict between the rule of law and the consent of the governed. In the face of no other reasonable means of redress, resistance against arbitrary power requires jurors to nullify unjust laws and provide a defense against injustice.
Instead of being “woke,” the time has come for people to be awake to domestic enemies and the political and governmental threats against civil liberties. Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) observed that one need only “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”