The "rule of law" refers to the concept that no individual—ruler or private citizen—stands above the law. To safeguard that principle, modern democracies typically bind governmental authorities to written, publicly disclosed laws and procedures. The rule of law provides predictability: citizens can plan their lives because they have access to the rules of the game, and they know they can assert their rights under those rules if government acts arbitrarily. While those same laws and procedures can limit a citizen’s own freedom to some extent, the principle of rule of law suggests such limitations, if reasonable, are preferable to arbitrary government.
The Pruis Rule of Law Endowment was established at Calvin University in 2008 by Ed Zeilstra in honor of long-time Calvin Business professor Don Pruis to promote an appreciation for the rule of law—an essential cultural and legal arrangement of great interest to Pruis. The Henry Institute is working to generate activities that foster and promote a renewed appreciation among students, faculty, staff, and the broader West Michigan community for the concept.
The Pruis Rule of Law Lecture series has been sponsored by the Henry Institute at Calvin since 2010, and features speakers who are researching issues related to the rule of law or who have personally experienced issues surrounding the development of the rule of law in countries around the globe.
The Henry Institute's Annual Pruis Rule of Law Lecture will feature Michigan State Senator Ed McBroom, who represents the 38th District of Michigan, located in the Upper Peninsula of the state. McBroom will consider how the concept of rule of law relates to elections, voting processes, and our democratic government.
McBroom, a Republican who chairs the State Senate Oversight Committee, conducted an eight-month long investigation into the legitimacy of Michigan's 2020 voting results after the November 2019 election. After interviews of witnesses, reviews of extensive documents, examinations of procedures throughout the election system, and scrutinizing claims about corruption, McBroom and the Oversight Committee concluded that there was no credence to the claims of fraudulent activity.
The report concluded, "Our clear finding is that citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan. There is no evidence presented at this time to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized, wide-scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated in order to subvert the will of Michigan voters... The Committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain."