Understanding Rule of Law

Understanding Rule of Law

(RoyalPatriot.com) – Few concepts are more fundamental to the American system of government than the Rule of Law. The nation’s safety and security rely on the principle that everyone is accountable under an established network of laws no matter their station in life.

Academics distinguish the Rule of Law from the rule by law, with the former representing the law’s ascendency as a governance mechanism and the latter as a reference to a statute or procedure.

The Rule of Law is the mechanism by which the arbitrary abuse of power is held in check. It applies throughout all facets of government, including administrative procedures, legal practices, and institutional norms.

Development of the Rule of Law

The Rule of Law can be traced back to Aristotle, who distinguished the rule of law from the rule of the best man. John Locke emphasized the importance of the rule of law in the late 17th century.

The Founding Fathers stressed its importance to the emerging nation in the Federalist Papers, a set of documents written primarily by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the US Constitution.

The rule of law in the United States include four features;

  1. A system of checks and balances guaranteeing no person or component of government becomes too powerful;
  2. The consistent provision of due process of law and equality before the law ensuing fundamental fairness across the board for all citizens;
  3. Predictable mechanisms providing for the peaceful resolutions of disputes and legal grievances; and
  4. An adequate system to adjudicate violations of the law and hand down penalties for individuals who break the rules.

The Rule of Law is integral to the safety, security, and continued prosperity of the nation. It’s fundamental to American democracy itself. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once warned the best way to show the importance of the Rule of Law to “everyday life” for all Americans is “to recall what happened” in the past in its absence.

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