Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 35 of 61
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MANY AS HAVE SINNED IN THE LAW SHALL BE
JUDGED BY THE LAW."
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY GOVERNOR PAT M. NEFF AT FLORESVILLE,
SATURDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 30, 1922, ON THE SUPREMACY
OF THE LAW.
Friends and Fellow Citizens:
The law is the foundation of every government. It is the keystone
in the arch of the world's progress. Respect for and obedience
to it constitute the anchor of our civilization. Without law
there can be no liberty. Where the law ends the rule of the mob
begins. We have no guarantee for life and no security for property
except through the law. To uphold it is the first duty of a
government. When a government ceases to enforce its laws, it ceases
to be a government and becomes a disorganized society with the law of
the jungle as its only guide. Where there is no law, there is no civilization.
Therefore the majesty of the law, its purpose and its punishment,
is a theme as wide as the impulses of civilized life, as high as
the hopes of man and as deep as the virtues of the human heart.
LAWS MUST BE OBEYED.
If this is to be a government of laws and not of men, then the laws
must be obeyed. The laws are made for man, and not man for the
laws. The material, the moral, the educational, the spiritual growth of
the world depends on a respect for and an obedience to the law. Lawlessness
is endemic, epidemic, infectious and contagious and opens the
door to every evil disease that saps the sovereign strength of the State.
All laws are valid and binding. No one is exempt from them. They
should be impartially administered. No wealth, no business, no honor,
no power can make one immune from the mandates of the law. No
fortune should ever lift a person so high that the long, strong arm of
the law could not reach him, and no misfortune should ever cause one
to descend so low that his whispering voice could not be heard in the
temple of justice. A people who ignore their laws will reap from the
crimes which around them they sow, a harvest of barren regrets. We
are guided and governed by law. "As many as have sinned in the law
shall be judged by the law," is found in the book of Romans and is as
true now as when first written. Whatever the cost, a government lmust
enforce her laws or go on the rocks of anarchy and ruin. If Texas is
to be respected, her laws must be obeyed. A government must govern.
GENERAL REVOLT AGAINST AUTHORITY.
There can be seen today on every hand, a general revolt against governmental
authority. Disrespect for the law of the land rides upon
the wings of every wind. Cold, cruel, calculating crime has been organ
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Neff, Pat M. Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation, book, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5835/m1/35/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .