the law is an ass

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Proverb[edit]

the law is an ass

  1. The law, as created by legislators or as administered by the justice system, cannot be relied upon to be sensible or fair.
    • 1654, George Chapman [contested], Revenge for Honour:
      Ere he shall lose an eye for such a trifle... For doing deeds of nature! I'm ashamed. The law is such an ass.
    • 1838, Charles Dickens, chapter 61, in Oliver Twist:
      "If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass—a idiot."
    • 1917, Henry De Vere Stacpoole, chapter 29, in The Man Who Lost Himself:
      I'm not one of those who think the Law is an ass, no, there's a great deal of common sense in the Law of England.
    • 1994 May 14, James Cusick, "Loophole gives knifeman freedom," The Independent (UK) (retrieved 18 July 2014):
      Mr Bell said: "The law is an ass. It is a shocking situation when a dangerous criminal can walk free by evading recapture for a month."
    • 2013 July 16, Kathleen Parker, "Unanswered questions in Trayvon Martin case," Washington Post (retrieved 18 July 2014):
      [N]o matter the legal definitions that guided them, it seems impossible that someone’s young son, guilty of nothing, should die while his killer walks. Adages become such for a reason: The law is an ass.

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