Equal justice under the law is not a decree by man but a statement of the natural state of peace; the laws of nature make no determination between one individual or the other. The tall man and the short woman do not live under different laws of nature. Both are pulled at equal rates with gravity, because the force of gravity makes no determination between mass. The question of authority came into play in the 1600’s with the comparison between the law of nature and the king. If the King is bound by the laws of nature just as his subjects, then the King is not Law, but the Law is King.
This principle was foundational to the “glorious revolution” in 1688, and resulted in the replacement of James II by William and Mary. What gave motivation to John Pym’s actions? Both the ideological argument of Samuel Rutherford (Law is King) and the writings of John Locke. John Pym’s energy or conviction came from his Puritan belief. The result was the creation of the Bill of Rights in 1689 which made statutory the idea that all men are equal under the law, regardless of their conviction or denomination of Christianity.
The rise in success of the Puritan style of governance in the Colonies of America is what was foundational to the legitimization of separation from a rule of one, to a rule of law and self governance by the people and for the people. The Declaration of Independence used the ideology of the rights of the individual over the rights of society when proclaiming “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” It was also foundational to the creation of the United States of America: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…” The coalition of like minded colonies, to unite under this banner that the king is not law, but the law is king, did not come about flippantly, but with extreme careful examination of history and the testing of ideology. The objective of the founders, whose ideology was Christian, was to create a government to provide the opportunity for the individual to govern themselves according to the natural state of peace, freedom.
The success of this process is evidenced by the explosion of the western world from the state of poverty to the state of wealth. Respecting the laws of nature and keeping them foundational in our society brought us to the moon, gave us flight, advanced our infrastructure. If we climb a cliff and respect the laws of nature we will tether ourselves to the rock, but if we ignore them we will climb without a harness, and if we slip there is no mercy from natural consequence.
Today and tomorrow in order to maintain what we did yesterday we should not, nor cannot, give legitimacy to the rulings of man that does not hold equal to the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, evidenced by the state of man in comparison to the natural state of peace. The decree of king is not law, but law shall decree what is king. Equal justice is under the law of Nature.