Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Without Due Process

                The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:  “…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law….”  Every person living within the United States – citizen and non-citizen – has the right to the protection of their life, liberty, and property and to know that none of them can be taken away without due process of law. 

                W. Cleon Skousen explained, “One again, this provision is simply a repletion of what was already guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment:  `No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’
                “`Due process’ means a full hearing as provided by law.  Due process does not necessarily require a jury unless that is the established process for the type of problem involved.  Nor is a formal trial necessary for due process, if there is a full and fair hearing and an opportunity for the determination of the merits of the case.”  (See The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 273.)

                James W. Ely, Jr. of The Heritage Foundation explained, “Both the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibit governmental deprivations of `life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’  The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment serves three distinct functions in modern constitutional doctrine:  `First, it incorporates [against the States] specific protections defined in the Bill of Rights …. Second, it contains a substantive component, sometimes referred to as `substantive due process.’ …
Daniels v. Williams (1986) (Stevens, J., concurring)

                “Modern law interprets the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to impose the same substantive due process and procedural due process requirements on the federal and state governments….”  (See The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, p. 394.)

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