This is illustrative of what Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his 1978 address at Harvard”, referred to as legalistic life. He saw in America at that time that the limits of human rights and righteousness are determined by a system of laws. If its not against the law, then it must be my right.
It reminds me of young children who check to see if their parents are looking before they cross the street. They are not mature enough to know that they should check the streets for what is safe, not the parents for what is allowed. The person who passed me only demonstrated concern for the law, not the kids for whom the law was written.
Solzhenitsyn observed that of us over 30 years ago. God help us if we have become as a nation so immature that our only conscience is the law.