Court Shorts: Rule of Law
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Court Shorts: Rule of Law

September 25, 2019

I would describe the rule of law as
fairness. It is a set of rules that everyone needs to abide by. We can’t have
peaceful interactions with one another without the rule of law. Our social
compact is based on the idea that we are each and every one of us accountable to
the law. You’re right to swing your fist, stops
just short of my nose. And that’s what the real law’s meant to do. Is to find
that boundary between, expression, freedom, liberty, and everything we want to do, and
when we hurt others. For example this morning I went to buy a breakfast
sandwich. And everything that I did to get that sandwich was related to the
rule of law in some way. In the sense that I was able to cross the street
safely because I knew that the people driving their cars were going to stop at
the stoplight, and I had trust that they were going
to do that because there would be consequences under our law for that. I
can get up in the morning and know that the dollar will be accepted down the
street at the grocery store. I can go to the post service and expect
that I can retrieve my mail and that someone won’t take it, or that that
someone won’t view it without my permission. I then go and buy the
breakfast sandwich. I know that the company I’m buying the breakfast
sandwich from has to follow the rule of law and with regard to food regulations.
So I know that the food I eat is going to be safe. The company similarly can’t
overcharge me because there is going to be penalties for that. It affects our
quality of life in that we’re able to sleep at night knowing that tomorrow
morning we’ll wake up the stock market will be working, the speed limits will be
enforced, the laws will be applied to each and every one of us. One of the great things about the rule
of law is the protection of minority rights. Our Constitution has embedded
within it, a counter majoritarian principle. What the Founding Fathers said,
was to protect us against the tyranny of the majority. The most important thing
that I’ve felt from taking the oath was to make sure that I applied the rule of
law in a fair manner to everyone. And what that means is that 51% of the
people, or 90% of the people, can’t deprive the minority of certain
inalienable rights. The right to worship, the right to speak, the freedom of the
press, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable
searches and seizures. No matter what their background, no matter where they
came from, no matter what they look like, and that’s what I try to do every day. Is
to apply the law fairly and evenly to every party that’s before me. We are
bound to follow the law. The law is the statutes, the law that is written by
people who are elected by the people, and we have to comply with that law. We have
to follow the Constitution. New citizens swear an oath not to the flag or to the
President or to America, but to the Constitution; to our supreme law of the
land. The rule of law means that everybody
understands what the law is and everybody also understands that they
will be held to that law. And that there’s no way of getting out of that,
including the government. Rule of law means that the laws are public, people
know what they’re expected to do, and you can rightfully hold them to that
knowledge. Now I’m not saying you could go out in the street and give a quiz
about the US code every person who’s walking by, but the public nature of the
law is critical and the public nature of the judicial process is critical. After
reading a lot about Greek history, Roman Republic, Roman Empire, all the way
forward up to the present day; it was interesting to see what made
civilizations thrive and what made civilizations fail. And the only
civilizations that thrived were civilizations that emphasized the rule
of law.

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