LAW DAY REFLECTIONS: Traemon Anderson

The Rule of Law establishes a standard of morality for all individuals in our society. It provides a foundation that our nation is rooted in, while also creating a standard to aspire to. Through the application of the Rule of Law, minority rights are protected from the racism and brutality of the majority rule and long-standing historical practices. By advancing the Rule of Law, our society can attain a better America for all inhabitants, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic background. A country united is one that cannot be easily divided, and the Rule of Law moves us closer to this maxim and a better American society. 

Historically, the Rule of Law has provided an avenue for minorities to obtain societal equality during a period of history when society was unwelcoming. Two famous cases that display the impact of the Rule of Law over time are Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In Dred Scott, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all African Americans, whether free or slaves, were not American citizens and thus could not sue in federal court. The court’s opinion further condemned African Americans as property and solidified the rights of slaveowners to be constitutionally protected. This case displays the outright disregard for African American’s lives and the lack of protection extended by the Rule of Law under the Fourteenth Amendment. In Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the doctrine of separate but equal unequivocally violated the U.S. Constitution. This case showed the growth of American society and the justice system, along with displaying the recognition of African Americans’ protection under the constitution. The Rule of Law is a powerful tool that allows us to hold our society and governmental actors accountable and protects minorities’ rights as we move forward.

Traemon Anderson

President, Creighton School of Law Black Law Student Association

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