“The rule of law is like the notion of ‘the good’. Everyone is for the good, although we hold different ideas about what the good is.” 1 Two primary ways of viewing the Rule of Law have developed over the years: the “thick” theory of the Rule of Law advocates that, in addition to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, participation in government decisions (democracy) and consistency with international human rights law are essential for the Rule of Law in a society; the “thin” theory of the Rule of Law asserts that democracy and consistency with human rights law, while nice, are not essential for the Rule of Law. While the Rule of Law is often talked about in the context of developing countries that are coming out of conflict, there is little talk about the Rule of Law and its application to countries such as the United States. The past two years have seen the Rule of Law in the United States threatened as it has never been before, with Senators refusing to do their constitutional duty, a President that threatens to disregard the rulings of the judiciary, and judges both politicizing and abdicating their role as the interpreters of the law. Using a definition of the “thin” theory of the Rule of Law formulated by Brian Tamanahan, I ultimately argue that it not only is, but should be the case that a product of the Rule of Law, stability, a combination of security and predictability, is one of the world’s most valued commodities; and that Rule of Law, rather than the Rule of Man, is and should always be the bedrock of the United States of America.
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