The Rule of law

Why our ‘Rule of Law’ is so important to all of us.

One of the things that separates our laws and nation from the bulk of the other countries around the world is our ‘Rule of Law.’ It is the greatest equalizer in our judicial system, but only when applied without bias.

Thank you, Gary Varvel for the meme

In 2022, it appears to be more of a tradition than a governing paradigm for our country.

This concept goes back to the Greek city states where the seeds of democracy were first cultivated. Aristotle stated that it is proper that the law should govern us, rather than any one citizen. I would add, in a truly free society, the law MUST govern above all else. The rule of law insures our human rights, our property rights and our contract rights.

Early start

The rule of law first found its way into western civilization in 1215 when on July 1st, at noon, the Magna Carta was signed by king John in Runnymede Meadow. The British noblemen would stop the King’s power to arrest and throw them in jail without a legal reason. He would no longer be above the law. It said specifically:

“No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, disseized (evict or foreclose upon), outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will he proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and the Law of the Land.” 

Thomas Paine, American patriot

Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 the law must be more important and powerful than any individual or politician, including any king. Equal enforcement of the law for all our citizens is paramount to a free people and fair country. The rule of law means that all of can expect equal results from the legal system. Has it always been that way? Of course not, it’s both aspirational and inspirational. Unfortunately, in America today it has become a mockery.