"True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrong-doing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, although neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal a part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by Senate or People, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for He is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly called punishment ..."

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 59 - 47 B.C.
 
 
"The call for civility in politics is normally meant to silence the opposition. A court barren of the examination of facts leads to a defendant devoid of justice; and likewise, a legislature barren of debate leads to a citizenry devoid of sound law."

-- Representative Tom Shaw

 
 
"Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence." 

-- Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.
 
 
 
 
"There is no good government but what is republican...[T]he true idea of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.' That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics."

-- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

 
 
"This natural law, being as old as mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, from this original.”

-- William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England (1765)
 
 
"This is the real task before us: to reassert our commitment as a nation to a law higher than our own, to renew our spiritual strength. Only by building a wall of such spiritual resolve can we, as a free people, hope to protect our own heritage and make it someday the birthright of all men."

-- Ronald Reagan

 
 
"The instruments, by which [government] must act, are either the authority of the Laws or force. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; ... and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government, there is an end to liberty."

--Alexander Hamilton

 
 
"[W]here there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community."

-- Benjamin Rush, letter to David Ramsay, 1788

 
 
Provided courtesy of the Committee for American Resource Self-Reliance

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Environmental Protection Agency had "no legal basis" to disapprove a Texas plan for implementing federal air-quality standards, a federal appeals court said.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to reconsider the Texas regulations and "limit its review" to ensuring that they meet the "minimal" Clean Air Act requirements that govern state implementation plans.

"If Texas's regulations satisfy those basic requirements, the EPA must approve them," the court said in its 22-page ruling this week.

The EPA rejected Texas' rules on minor new-source review permits in September 2010, saying they didn't meet Clean Air Act requirements. The Texas attorney general, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses sued the EPA, challenging the ruling.

The EPA failed to identify any provisions of the law that the Texas program violated, the appeals court said. The agency also missed a deadline to rule on the Texas permit plan, the court said.

Read this story at star-telegram.com ...