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“Substantive Due Process”

Another important Fourteenth Amendment guarantee is the provision that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” While you might think that the Due Process Clause requires only a fair procedure – i.e., “due process” – it has been interpreted to provide substantive protection for a set of basic rights, protecting those rights from impairment regardless of the process the government was willing to provide.

Washington v. Glucksberg

521 U.S. 702 (1997)

CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question presented in this case is whether Washington’s prohibition against “causing” or “aiding” a suicide offends the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We hold that it does not. . . .

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