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Alan Scheinkman, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department

Aristotle is said to have observed: “It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens.” Aristotle’s pronouncement may well have been the genesis of the Rule of Law, which may be distilled to the proposition that we are all governed by law, including the individuals who hold governmental positions. It is recognized in our current system of separation of powers by which our federal and state constitutions distribute power among three branches of government and provide mechanisms for each branch to check and balance exercises of power by the other branches. The judiciary is a check on both the executive and legislative branches but equally so those branches have their own check on the judiciary.

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