The Meaning of ‘Rule of Law’

Many times throughout our lives we’ve heard the term ‘rule of law.’ It sounds simple enough but what does it really mean?

But first, we should correct our vernacular – it isn’t jus’ ‘rule of law,’ rather we should always say it correctly, ‘Constitutional rule of law,’ as the U.S. Constitution is a contract between the citizens and the State. Over the years, whether on purpose or out of laziness, ‘Constitution,’ has been redacted from the phrase.

Constitutional rule of law of insists that a predictable and consistent legal system is necessary for an ordered liberty. A lawful society consists of a government of laws, not men, in which people know what the rules are, and in which rules are enforced uniformly for all citizens.

It also means that the government itself, along with the governed, is subject to those laws. For Constitutional law to function, by contrast, even the administrators of the law must be subject to its provisions. That also means that ALL people are to be equally protected by the law.

When such a condition exists then the rule of law is present. Placing Constitutional law on a firm and decisive basis is a necessary step for assuring such a situation and in the end a Constitutional rule of law promotes prosperity and protects our liberties.

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