This is one of those things that may be politics, or may be religion. The two are inescapably intertwined, and in many cases the same thing, so I will put it here on my politics blog first, then cross-post it at my religion blog.
I was reading some religion blog, I can’t find the source, and it brought up a Puritan named Samuel Rutherford, who took the ancient Latin proverb, rex lex– the king is the law- and turned it around to lex rex, the law is king. This of course follows the Puritan effort to delegitimize the authority of the king and the Catholic hierarchy, and replace it with something else- but what else? The law? What is the law anyway?
The “rule of law” is a sacred American concept, logically enough as America is a Puritan country. Conservatives love the rule of law, because they see liberals violating the law all the time, usually through the legal system itself.
Here’s a good example– I hate to foist the Atlantic on you, but it’s the only progressive fish-wrapper I read. This “legal scholar” presents his view on a subject, with a combination of confidently asserted logical fallacies and menacing normative language. The law might be any number of things, but for the most powerful people in the most powerful country, that’s what it is.
Rex lex means the king is the law, or says what the law is. Lex rex means the law tells the king what he can do. Since the law will always be interpreted by someone- especially in the Anglophone system, where the law is deliberately vague to leave power in the hands of the judge, who represents a king who no longer exists- there is always some power that comes before the law. The only question is what it is.
As far as Anglophone power reaches, we are ruled by the whims of the Puritan elite. In the religious or existential sense, though, what comes before the law is God, if you believe in God, or just simply reality, if you are an atheist, in which case reality is God- the final source that can’t be questioned or challenged.
Any kind of law, policy, or custom has to conform to, or at least not challenge, reality. Progressivism is entirely lies, but makes a loophole for itself by exempting the elite from most of their own rules.
So the answer is rex lex, and anybody who says otherwise is setting himself up as your ruler.