“All are equal before the law. Justice is blind. No man is above the law.”
The revolution in thought that we now call “The Rights of Man” occurred as a strong reaction to dominating bullying leaders arbitrarily edicting the conditions in which most people lived. These wealthy elitists controlled the whole pie, consuming the bulk of a society’s economic energies directing the balance of the population to serve their needs.
The Rule of Law was to be the primary force for equalizing the disparities found in any society. The Founders acknowledge that degrees of inequality would exist based on successes and failures experienced by individuals reflected in the degrees of inequality that everyone experienced. The only exception was the rule of law – no inequality was tolerable. Everyone was assured fairness and a level playing field with an universal set of rules.
“It would be difficult to overstate the essential place of the rule of law in the American political tradition. A principle grievance against King George III was his unilateral power to vest himself and those he favored the right to act outside the law. The goal of the American Revolution was to replace this arbitrary will of the monarch with unbending equal application of law to everyone.”1
There are many examples of the “King George III Rule” in practice in our recent history: Ford pardoned Nixon’s transgressions “to get the matter behind us”, Obama did not wish to pursue prosecution of the liars Bush and Cheney “not wanting to create a circus that would split the country”, the financial industry geniuses have not been prosecuted for their stealing and destruction. Imperial Presidents and Congresses continue to practice this Rule of favoring the privileged and excusing their actions that have transgressed the Law and the Rules of the Constitution.
Perhaps those patriots that cry “Let us return to The Constitution” should start with Equality Under the Law.
1. Greenwald, Glenn; With Liberty and Justice for Some. Kindle edition location 47-62