The Rule of Law and Equality

Abstract

This paper describes and defends a novel and distinctively egalitarian conception of the rule of law. Official behavior is to be governed by preexisting, public rules that do not draw irrelevant distinctions between the subjects of law. If these demands are satisfied, a state achieves vertical equality between officials and ordinary people and horizontal legal equality among ordinary people.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. T.R.S. Allan, ‘Procedural Fairness and the Duty of Respect’, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 18 (1998): pp. 497-515.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. T. R. S. Allan, Constitutional Justice: A Liberal Theory of the Rule of Law (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Elizabeth Anderson, ‘What is the Point of Equality?’, Ethics 109 (1999): pp. 287-337.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Elizabeth Anderson & Richard Pildes, ‘Expressive Theories of Law: A General Restatement’, University of Pennsylvania Law Review 148 (2000): pp.1503-1575.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Aristotle, ‘Politics’, in Stephen Everson (ed.), The Politics and the Constitution of Athens (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

  6. Jason Armfield, ‘Cognitive Vulnerability: A Model of the Etiology of Fear’, Clinical Psychology Review 26 (2006): pp. 746-768.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Steven Burton, Judging in Good Faith (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Thomas Christiano, The Constitution of Equality: Democratic Authority and its Limits (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Cohen, Joshua, ‘Procedure and Substance in Deliberative Democracy’, in Philosophy, Politics, Democracy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009).

  10. Mathilde Cohen, ‘The Rule of Law as the Rule of Reasons’, Archiv fuer Rechts- und Sozialphilosphie 96 (2010): pp. 1-16.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Richard Dagger, ‘Membership, Fair Play, and Political Obligation’. Political Studies 48 (2000): pp. 104-117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Meir Dan-Cohen, ‘Decision Rules and Conduct Rules: On Acoustic Separation in Criminal Law’, Harvard Law Review 97 (1984): pp. 625-677.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Alan Dershowitz, ‘The Torture Warrant: A Response to Professor Strauss’, New York Law School Review 48 (2003): pp. 275-294.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Albert Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1982).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Dworkin, Ronal, ‘Political Judges and the Rule of Law’, in A Matter of Principle (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986).

  16. Ronald Dworkin, ‘The Model of Rules’, University of Chicago Law Review 35 (1967): pp.14-46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dyzenhaus, David, Hard Cases in Wicked Legal Systems: Pathologies of Legality (2nd edn.). (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010a).

  18. Dyzenhaus, David, ‘Hobbes’s Constitutional Theory’, in Ian Shapiro (ed.), Hobbes: Leviathan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010b), pp. 453–480.

  19. William Edmundson (ed.), The Duty to Obey the Law: Selected Philosophical Readings, (Lanham: Rowan & Littlefield, 1999).

    Google Scholar 

  20. Richard Fallon, ‘‘The Rule of Law’ as a Concept in Constitutional Discourse’, Columbia Law Review 97 (1997): pp. 1-56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. John Finnis, Natural Law and Human Rights (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1980).

    Google Scholar 

  22. N.R.E. Fisher (1976) ‘Hybris’ and Dishonour: I. Greece & Rome 23:177-193.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. N.R.E. Fisher, Hybris: A Study in the Values of Honour and Shame in Ancient Greece (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1992).

    Google Scholar 

  24. Owen Fiss, ‘Groups and the Equal Protection Clause’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 5 (1976): pp. 107-77.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Evan Fox-Decent, ‘The Fiduciary Nature of State Legal Authority’, Queen’s Law Journal 31 (2005): pp. 259-310.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Evan Fox-Decent, Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

    Google Scholar 

  27. Lon Fuller, The Morality of Law (2nd ed.) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969).

    Google Scholar 

  28. Gowder, Paul, ‘An Egalitarian Theory of the Rule of Law’, Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation (2012a), On File with Author.

  29. Gowder, Paul, ‘Equality and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens’, Unpublished Manuscript (2012b), On File with the Author.

  30. Gowder, Paul, ‘The Liberal Critique of Domination’, Unpublished Manuscript, Presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Western Political Science Association (2012c), On File with Author.

  31. Christian Grillon, ‘Startle Reactivity and Anxiety Disorders: Aversive Conditioning, Context, and Neurobiology’, Biological Psychiatry 52 (2002): pp. 958-975.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Owen Gross, ‘Chaos and Rules: Should Responses to Violent Crises Always be Constitutional?’, Yale Law Journal 112 (2003): pp. 1011-1134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Habermas, Jürgen, ‘Popular Sovereignty as Procedure’, in Between Facts and Norms (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996).

  34. Stephan Haggard, Andrew MacIntyre, & Lydia Tiede, ‘The Rule of Law and Economic Development’, Annual Review of Political Science 11 (2008): pp. 205–34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. H.L.A. Hart, ‘Positivism and the Separation of Law and Morals’, Harvard Law Review 71 (1958): pp. 593-629.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. John Hasnas, ‘The Myth of the Rule of Law’, Wisconsin Law Review 1995 (1995): pp. 199-234.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Friedrich von Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960).

    Google Scholar 

  38. Hegel, G. W. F., in Nisbet, H. B. (trans.), Allen Wood (ed.), Elements of the Philosophy of Right (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

  39. Deborah Hellman, When is Discrimination Wrong? (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008).

    Google Scholar 

  40. Morton Horowitz, ‘The Rule of Law: An Unqualified Human Good?’, Yale Law Journal 86 (1977): pp. 561-566.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Michael Ignatieff, The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).

    Google Scholar 

  42. John Jeffries, ‘Legality, Vagueness, and the Construction of Penal Statutes’, Virginia Law Review 71 (1985): pp. 189-245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Kafka, Franz, in Willa and Edwin Muir (trans.), The Trial (New York: Schocken Books, 1992).

  44. Martin Luther King Jr. (2009) Letter from Birmingham Jail. In: Mary Snodgrass (ed.), Civil Disobedience: An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Matthew Kramer, Objectivity and the Rule of Law (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

    Google Scholar 

  46. Martin Krygier, ‘Four Puzzles about the Rule of Law: Why, What, Where? And Who Cares?’, in James Fleming (ed.), Nomos L: Getting to the Rule of Law (New York: New York University Press, 2011), pp. 64-104.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Christian List, ‘Republican Freedom and the Rule of Law’, Politics, Philosophy & Economics 5 (2006): pp. 201-220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Lister, Matthew, ‘Review of Evan Fox-Decent, Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary’, Ethics, forthcoming (2012).

  49. Locke, John, in Tom Crawford (ed.), The Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration (Mineola: Dover, 2002).

  50. Stephen Macedo, ‘The Rule of Law, Justice, and the Politics of Moderation’, in Ian Shapiro (ed.), Nomos XXXVI: The Rule of Law (New York: NYU Press, 1994), pp. 148-177.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Dan Markel ‘Against Mercy’, Minnesota Law Review 88 (2004): pp.1421-1480.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Andrei Marmor, Positive Law and Objective Values (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 2001).

    Google Scholar 

  53. Marmor, Andrei, ‘The Rule of Law and Its Limits’, in Law in the Age of Pluralism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

  54. Toni Massaro, ‘Empathy, Legal Storytelling, and the Rule of Law: New Words, Old Wounds?’, Michigan Law Review 87 (1989): pp. 2099-2127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Frank Michelman, ‘Relative Constraint and Public Reason: What is ‘the Work We Expect of Law?’’, Brooklyn Law Review 67 (2002): pp. 963-985.

    Google Scholar 

  56. John Milton (1848). A Defence of the People of England. In: J. A. StJohn (ed.), The Prose Works of John Milton, vol. 1. London: Henry G. Bohn.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Mirabeau, Honoré-Gabriel Riquetti, comte de., Enquiries Concerning Lettres de Cachet, the Consequences of Arbitrary Imprisonment, and a History of the Inconveniences, Distresses, and Sufferings of State Prisoners (Unsigned Translation) (Dublin: Whitestone, Byrne, Cash, Moore & Jones, 1787).

  58. Michael Moore, ‘A Natural Law Theory of Interpretation’, Southern California Law Review 58 (1985): pp. 277-398.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Colleen Murphy, ‘Lon Fuller and the Moral Value of the Rule of Law’, Law and Philosophy 24 (2005): pp. 239-262.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Thomas Nagel, ‘The Problem of Global Justice’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2005): pp. 113-147.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Douglass North, John Wallis & Barry Weingast, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

    Google Scholar 

  62. Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974).

    Google Scholar 

  63. John Ohnesorge, ‘The Rule of Law’, Annual Review of Law and Social Science 207 (2007): pp. 99-114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Mancur Olson, ‘Dictatorship, Democracy and Development’, American Political Science Review 87 (1993): pp. 567-576.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Phillip Pettit, ‘Freedom as Antipower’, Ethics 106 (1996): pp. 576-604.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Plato, in Thomas Pangle (trans.), The Laws of Plato (New York: Basic Books, 1980).

  67. Margaret Radin, ‘Reconsidering the Rule of Law’, Boston University Law Review 69 (1989): pp. 781-819.

    Google Scholar 

  68. John Rawls, Political Liberalism (2nd ed.) (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).

    Google Scholar 

  69. Rawls, John, A Theory of Justice (rev. edn.). (New York: Harvard University Press, 1999a).

  70. Rawls, John, ‘The Idea of Public Reason Revisited’, in The Law of Peoples (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999b).

  71. Joseph Raz, The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1979).

    Google Scholar 

  72. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, in G. D. H. Cole (trans.), Drew Silver (ed.), On the Social Contract (Mineola: Dover, 2003).

  73. Andrea Sangiovanni, ‘Global Justice, Reciprocity, and the State’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (2007): pp. 3-39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Antonin Scalia ‘The Rule of Law as a Law of Rules’, University of Chicago Law Review 56 (1989): pp. 1175-1188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Frederick Schauer, ‘Rules and the Rule of Law’, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 14 (1991): pp. 645-694.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Frederick Schauer, ‘Giving Reasons’ Stanford Law Review 47 (1995): pp. 633-659.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Samuel Scheffler, ‘What is Egalitarianism?’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 31 (2003): pp. 5- 39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Micah Schwartzman, ‘Judicial Sincerity’, Virginia Law Review 94 (2008): pp. 987-1027.

    Google Scholar 

  79. Sen, Amartya, ‘Equality of What?’, Tanner Lectures at Stanford University (1979).

  80. Shklar, Judith, and Hoffman, Stanley (eds.), ‘Political Theory and the Rule of Law’, in Political Thought and Political Thinkers (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).

  81. Lawrence Solum, ‘Constructing an Ideal of Public Reason’, San Diego Law Review 30 (1993): pp. 729-762.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Lawrence Solum, ‘Equity and the Rule of Law’, in Ian Shapiro (ed.), Nomos XXXVI: The Rule of Law (New York: New York University Press, 2004), pp. 120-147.

    Google Scholar 

  83. Robert Summers, ‘A Formal Theory of the Rule of Law’, Ratio Juris 6 (1993): pp. 127-42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  84. Robert Summers, ‘The Principles of the Rule of Law’, Notre Dame Law Review 74 (1998): pp. 1691-1712.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Brian Tamanaha, On the Rule of Law: History, Politics, Theory (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

    Google Scholar 

  86. Lawrence Tribe, American Constitutional Law (2nd ed.) (Mineola: Foundation Press, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  87. Jeremy Waldron, ‘Does Law Promise Justice?’, Georgia State Law Review 17 (2000): pp. 759-788.

    Google Scholar 

  88. Jeremy Waldron, ‘Is the Rule of Law an Essentially Contested Concept (in Florida)?’, Law and Philosophy 21 (2002): pp. 137-164.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Waldron, Jeremy, ‘Dignity, Rank and Rights’, Tanner Lectures at the University of California, Berkeley (2009).

  90. Waldron, Jeremy, ‘Thoughtfulness and the Rule of Law’, British Academy Review 18 (2011a): 1–12.

  91. Waldron, Jeremy, ‘The Rule of Law and the Importance of Procedure’, in James Fleming (ed.), Nomos L: Getting to the Rule of Law (New York: New York University Press, 2011b), pp. 3–31.

  92. Jeremy Waldron, The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

    Google Scholar 

  93. Geoffrey Walker, The Rule of Law: Foundation of Constitutional Democracy (Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  94. Barry Weingast, ‘The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of Law’, American Political Science Review 91 (1997): pp. 245-263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. West, Robin, Re-Imagining Justice: Progressive Interpretations of Formal Equality, Rights, and the Rule of Law (West Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003).

    Google Scholar 

  96. Pseudo-Xenophon, ‘The Constitution of the Athenians’, in G. W. Boerstock (trans.), E. C. Marchant (ed.), Xenophon in Seven Volumes, VII Scripta Minora (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul Gowder.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gowder, P. The Rule of Law and Equality. Law and Philos 32, 565–618 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-012-9161-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Ordinary People
  • Liberal Democracy
  • Public Reason
  • Legal Reason
  • Civil Disobedience