Welcome to ruleoflawus.info. As the domain name implies, the purpose of this website is to provide access to resources that will aid in your understanding of the Rule of Law and its implementation as it stands in the United States today. You will find successes, violations and attempts to destroy it. It is abundantly clear that the state of the Rule of Law in the United States is extremely shaky. Congress, the People and the legal community each need to get some backbone, get involved and act.
Although there is some commentary at the beginning of most of the pages, the primary content is a collection of materials that discuss and/or illustrate the page topic. The site contains a variety of pages on which you will find links to articles by expert authors, case decisions, videos of both panel discussions and individual interviews, audio files of interviews, and other websites . Another page provides a list of a small number of suggested books. Finally, there is also a page providing live feeds from some of the top blogs in the area. Our own discussion board will be coming shortly.
The necessary elements for existence of the Rule are the consistency, predictability, and transparency of the law. The core that provides for these elements is a constitution. The Rule has never existed or survived in a country that did not have a working constitution. In order to introduce the Rule to a developing country, it is first necessary to develop a stable economy. Similarly, when economies in already developed countries are suffering such is often accompanied by a degradation of the Rule and weakening of the constitution. That unfortunately is the state of the United States in 2008.
Further, as Professor Ronald Cass, author of "The Rule of Law in America", points out, "The nature of the judicial system is critical to the Rule of Law. Impartial judges, governed by clear legal rules, committed to enforcing the rules as written, independent of political influence are essential if law is to be a reliable guide to individuals and a constraint on those in power."
The fundamental freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights represent the limits on what government can and cannot do to its citizens. Individual states also have their own Bill of Rights in the state constitutions. These civil liberties continue to be key components of the Rule of Law because they provide legal limits to government action and protect what the founders believed were Americans’ fundamental rights.
The one right, above all others, that makes the Rule work is the "freedom of speech." The ability to speak one's mind, to challenge the political orthodoxies of the times, and to criticize the policies of the government without fear of recrimination by the state are the things that are the essential distinction between life in a free country and in a dictatorship. This was found to be true in the Magna Carta and carried forward in our own Bill of Rights.
The long established concept behind the Rule of Law can again be found in our own Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."
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