Chloe united states when slavers could give brutal

Chloe Hannay

January 20,
2018

3305-91

Reflection
Paper 2

 

Rule of Law

            A
widely accepted definition of the rule of law “is a principle under which all
persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: publicly
promulgated, equally enforced, independently adjudicated, and consistent with
international human rights principles” (Dimunation). To put in simple terms,
Rule of Law is the belief that no one person is above the law if those laws are
ethically and morally just, and capable of being enforced. Rule of law is tied
in with Natural law which is “the unwritten body of universal moral principles
that underlie the ethical and legal norms by which human conduct is sometimes
evaluated and governed” (Stewart). Although, I am in the belief that Natural
law is widely dependent on society and its impact on human behavior, so to put
things simply, morality is a societal construct. As humans are social creatures
we must have some rules in place to govern how we treat each other, and,
natural law is an agreement between people to live in a society that maximizes
wellbeing and minimizes illbeing. Rule of law is also largely dependent on
where you are in the world and the ethical codes of the country. For example,
in Germany during world war two, rule of law was to give up the Jews to be
taken to concentration camps although this is clearly in violation of ethical
and moral codes. This also comes into question during the time of slaves in the
united states when slavers could give brutal punishments and other ethically
incorrect treatment of slaves because under the constitution they were 3/5 of a
person and therefore not allocated the basic human rights available to others.
The constitution is the supreme law of the land but can be subject to amendments
in favor of the majority opinion.

 Rule of law is also largely dependent on the
laws being publicly promoted and made available to all citizens so that they
are aware what is and isn’t legal to there are no questions of accountability. Laws
must be worded carefully as to ensure that offenders of the law can be held
accountable for breaking them. A law that is vague can be considered null by
judges due to its ability to be used to punish harmless behavior. Laws must be
understood by the general public and therefore must be written clearly so
people of ordinary intelligence can infer what behavior is forbidden under law.
Also, rule of law is based on the decree that no one is above the law, and we
can see this demonstrated in the Watergate scandal when Nixon tried to use his
presidential privilege to place himself and the executive branch out of reach
of the criminal investigation.

Non-partisan
judiciary is crucial in order to get fair and lawful rulings in the court.
Non-partisan is based on the rule of law rather than a political advantage and
exercises no bias. This way of rulings will ensure that the reasons behind the
ruling are based on the constitution and the evidence gained in court rather
than someone high up holding the string and making sure a judge rules in his
favor. Although to keep all person bias out of the court room is next to
impossible due to the judges having their own inner morals and opinions about
interpreting the law in the constitution, and sometimes this makes for better
more just rulings, but it can also lead to the opposite. Another factor in bias
is who elected that judge and whether they were a democrat or a republican and having
a balance of liberal and conservative judges will be able to give the most just
rulings.  Majority rule is often the best
way to get a just ruling and it is why we use juries in most court cases and if
most of the jurors find an offender guilty then the ruling stands. However,
there are some morally and just foundations that our country was built upon and
were added to the constitution that cannot be changed by a majority vote. Also,
just because a majority agrees on one point does not always mean that the point
is just and if a minority stands against that point it is in the best interest of
the court to hear both sides fully before accepting any ruling. The Nixon case again
is a perfect representation of non-partisan judiciary in action because going against
the actual president of the country in favor of getting all the evidence possible
for a criminal trial is thin ice and the fact the judges were able to put aside
their bias in favor of the constitution is proper justice at work.