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Law is a symbolic system that structures the political imagination. The "rule of law" is a shorthand expression for a cultural practice that constructs a particular understanding of time and space, of subjects and groups, as well as of authority and legitimacy. It is a way of projecting, maintaining, and discovering meaning in the world of historical events and political possibilities. The rule of law - as opposed to the techniques of lawyering - is not the possession of lawyers. It is a characterization of the polity, which operates both descriptively and normatively in public perception. Ours, we believe, is a nation under law, and law is a normative measure of all that it might do.

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