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Do you follow the spirit of the law, or the letter of the law?

"There is the letter of the law, and then there is the spirit of the law," Vice President Joe Biden told conference participants. "We intend to make sure the spirit of the law is what's actually followed here, in addition to the letter."

Do you think that government should follow the spirit of the law or the letter of the law? If they intend to make sure that both spirit and letter are followed, then why bring it up at all?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:14 PM on Mar. 23, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • I wonder what the officer would say if I told him / her "I know I was going too fast, but I was following the spirit of the speed limit instead of the actual number".

    Mighty Joe Biden talks out of both sides of his mouth. Every time they let him near a mic it leaves the American people wondering why Obama picked him as VP.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Either way they are interpreted differently by so many people. You know, "perception is a person's truth".

    Answer by EireLass at 12:15 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Either way as long as the intention is cognizant of what present society needs to be healthy and successful. G.W. Bush, I'm sure, thought he was following the spirit of the law, but where did that get him.

    As long as it's intelligent and sound thinking that is also respectful of tradition I am happy with either way.

    Answer by preggoandfat at 12:21 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • He's obviously trying to avoid misuse of funds that is "technically' legal. I think there needs to be more of this attitude. It was obviously "technically' legal when the banks and mortgage companies gave sub-prime loans that they probably knew people couldn't pay them back, but they certainly weren't following the "spirit' of banking regulations intended to prevent mortgage companies from making bad loans just for the fees, etc, and then quickly selling them to investors to get rid of the risks.
    That's just one example.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 12:32 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Stacy hit the nail on the head.

    Answer by heatherama at 1:04 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • I agree with Stacy. And everyday it should be both.

    Answer by Fiveofakind2 at 2:10 PM on Mar. 23, 2009