Being stable and not standing still are not mutually exclusive. We, for example, are quite capable of walking forward while remaining stable on our feet.
Laws must be stable, meaning citizens must understand what the law requires of them and what happens when they break the law. This is the purpose of the...
Best answer: Being stable and not standing still are not mutually exclusive. We, for example, are quite capable of walking forward while remaining stable on our feet.
Laws must be stable, meaning citizens must understand what the law requires of them and what happens when they break the law. This is the purpose of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment guarantee of due process as well as the Eight Amendment guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment. If the law is arbitrarily, the law and justice become unstable and then so does order. People revolt when law becomes unstable and chaos ensures. The stability of law is what creates order.
The law, however, must not stand still. That means that as society evolves, so too must the law. As societal norms and expectations change, including what a society deems unacceptable and minimally acceptable as well as other changes, like changes in culture, technology, etc., the law must be able to adapt so as to not become archaic and lose support of the masses.
An example is the national speed limit. The law was stable, there were speed limits nationwide determined by states and everyone knew what to expect if they caught speeding. However, in the 1970's, due to the oil crisis when OPEC cut the US off from its oil supply and higher fuel consumption when cars drive faster speeds and due to an extremely high fatality rate in car accidents taking place at speeds over 60 mph, the law did not stand still but adapted. A national speed limit of 55 mph was enacted. Everyone knew what the speed limit was. Everyone knew the punishment for breaking the new speed limit. The law was stable. However, over the following two decades, as the United States secured its oil supply, even creating a national oil reserve so as to never be at the whim of OPEC again, and as technology improved such that cars became both much more fuel efficient, able to operate with equal efficiency at speeds of 70 mph as at 50 mph, and much safer with the advents of things like crumple zones, antilock brakes, airbags, etc., the reasons for enacting the 55 mph speed became less relevant and became superseded by a need for citizens to travel quickly and efficiently, so much so that citizens began speeding en masse, at one point the average speed on highways reaching 11 mph over the speed limit. Owing to that, the law again did not stand still and legislators raised the national speed limit to 70 mph in the mid-90's, creating a new stability.
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