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 has represented the 38th district of Michigan in the Upper Peninsula since 2016, after having first served 6 years in the Michigan House of Representative.
In the Senate, McBroom serves as the chair of the Senate Oversight Committee, a position he held during the November 2020 elections. When the allegations of voting irregularities arose after the election, McBroom and his Committee convened an investigation. After 8 months of interviewing witnesses, reviewing extensive documents, examining procedures throughout the election system and scrutinizing claims about corruption, the Committee concluded that the election results in Michigan were accurate and that claims of fraudulent activity were false.
Senator McBroom will reflect on the importance of upholding a strong and enforceable Rule of Law and his personal experience of its application to our election process and the 2020 election.