The NFL has rules upon rules upon rules. Professional football in the United States might be the most painstakingly regulated sport in history — and, increasingly, the rules most zealously enforced are those that don’t seem to matter.

How could such a thing have come to pass?

Ask Marty Hahne, a.k.a. “Marty the Magician,” who, with his rabbit, Casey, performed astonishing feats of enchantment for school groups in the Springfield, Mo., area — until, in July 2013, he was informed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that Casey would be confiscated if Hahne did not submit to the agency a “disaster” plan for his rabbit, detailing how he planned to protect his furry friend in the event of “flooding,” “earthquake,” “landslide/mudslide/avalanche,” “wildfire,” or “intentional attack.”…

But as the law’s minutiae are being fervently prosecuted by every badge-brandishing bureaucrat in every government agency from Sitka to St. Petersburg, the nation’s chief executive, constitutionally tasked with enforcing the law, has decided that the words of the law do not much matter. In 2011, the Obama administration announced that it would stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. The next year, under the auspices of “prosecutorial discretion,” the administration stopped enforcing immigration laws against young illegal immigrants. Two years later, following a laughably disingenuous expansion of prosecutorial discretion to effectively amnesty half of the illegal-immigrant population currently in the country, the president plainly proclaimed to have “changed” the law — in explicit violation of the constitution, of course, the supreme law of the land. And one need hardly the mention the multiple occasions on which the president has refused to enforce  — or ordered the non-enforcement of — the provisions of the health care law that he signed.