Why do we have to consider laws of nature as something sitting outside the Universe? Just because they govern everything in the Universe, namely everything sits on top of these laws, doesn't mean they are not part of the Universe, nor does it mean they existed before the Universe was created.
Referring to this sentence, " ... they also appear to sit over and above all other objects to which they apply", it seems to me more of a language context than it explains something about the laws of nature.
Wouldn't it be more conceivable to say that laws of nature are properties of the matter/energy, are part of the matter/energy?
Anyway, this is my opinion, I would highly appreciate any comments/answers. As you can see I'm not giving answers, I'm just asking for them.