The Penobscot Times

Rule of law

by Cornelia Baciu


Highview Christian Academy

First Place

Penobscot County Bar Association Essay and Art Contest

In our country, the rule of law is a requisite pillar to our society. It ensures the safety and welfare of the people, is consistent with human rights, norms, and standards, and secures a non arbitrary form of government. The rule of law protects certain needed rights such as those listed in the Bill of Rights, so much so that they cannot be swayed even by the influence of a multitude. The rule of law is made to be enforced by the people in an unprejudiced, reliable manner that makes the will of America’s people significant. This disputed, elusive concept, in which no person is above the law and prevents a tyrannical government, implies equality and maintains harmony among the population. No country can maintain a rule of law society without everyone’s contribution – everyone must make a commitment to respect laws. From this we can infer that the government is subject to the law just as the citizens are, making it incapable of acting without the constraint of any existing laws.

Using this definition, the United States of America does not operate by the rule of law. There are several examples: the distinction in women’s rights, the racial prejudices, the discrimination of certain people based on opinion, belief, and disabilities, and favoring of others. There was a time when women were not given the rights that men were given, such as being able to vote. Women had to fight for their suffrage rights. Many laws were bent in favor of the discrimination against people of color to set them at a disadvantage in the past, and it is still continuing into present day.This is only a small portion of the unfairness pervading our society. The rule of law thrives on the equality of people — however, recent events show that America has failed in ensuring the equal rights of its people. The bias against certain people is a significant issue in the fulfillment of the rule of law. The inequality in this country continues to prevail after so much time.

Since the creation of this experimental nation by the name of America, the Constitution has been deemed the main source of laws in the nation. It contains everything essential for a country based on fair principles and clear, just laws, which are applied evenly and are beneficial for each individual. For this, America is known as the land of freedom and opportunity — Americans are not only free for what they can do, but also for what the government cannot do. Nevertheless, there is a pattern of legal authorities blatantly disregarding the rules implemented from the Constitution. Within the Constitution are laws and rights that secure freedom for all of America’s citizens — the Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to keep and bear arms, freedom of assembly, and many other rights that ensure that all of the people of America have an abundant amount of freedom. If we do not have the Constitution or the rule of law, we do not have freedom.

Since the rule of law is being so easily disregarded and that not much is being done about it, what can we as citizens do to support and uphold the rule of law? How can we promote the supremacy of basic human rights and laws and equality among people? According to the rule of law, everyone is equal before the law, regardless of their status, gender, or color. Yet, what we say does not always correspond with what we do. The rule of law is the foundation of this country — without it, America’s foundation will be flimsy and unstable.

There is a way we can contribute to helping the matters of this nation, and it all comes down to respecting the law. Such a basic thing to do will have a huge impact — such small steps to mend the discrimination going on around us seems a bit disconcerting — but you simply need to trust the process. Developing a feeling of nationalism in the midst of faith in humanity dwindling is within our responsibility. Carrying out punishments to those who perform the task against the rule of law, and corruption being controlled is a good start. It is in our power to hopefully abolish discrimination in our society as long as we respect the laws and vote and make our way to a flourishing country.

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