Procedural safeguards, and unbiased laws and judgements

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law.


Amendment V to the U.S. Constitution
"No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ..."


John Gilmore on inflight activism, spam and sarongs, by John Gilmore, Mikael Pawlo, GrepLaw, 18 Aug 2004
Topics discussed include: terrorism, the drug war, encryption, censorship, spam, the end-to-end principle, the right to travel, anonymity, secret FAA/TSA rules, blogs, copy protection, free software and the EFF
"A basic principle of due process, which is guaranteed in the constitution, is that you have a chance to read the law (including the regulations that give all the details) before it can be applied to you. Another principle is that the law has to be sufficiently clearly written that you can tell illegal actions from legal ones. A law you can't see doesn't clearly tell you the line between legal and illegal acts."
Kennedy's Libertarian Revolution: Lawrence's reach, by Randy Barnett, National Review Online, 10 Jul 2003
Comments on the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas invalidating sodomy laws and in particular on Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion
"First of all, the 'due process of law' includes judicial review. And judicial review includes an examination of whether the government is acting within its delegated powers. ... Second, both the Ninth Amendment and the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment authorize the protection of unenumerated (and unenumerable) liberty rights 'retained by the people.'"
The Bill of Rights: Due Process of Law, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Nov 2004
"... history and experience had shown that when government ... was vested with the unlimited power to arrest, incarcerate, and punish violent offenders, always and inevitably such power had been misused against the innocent, especially those who dared to criticize or challenge government policies or practices."
The Courts and the New Deal, Part 1, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Jun 2005
First part of a four-part series examining how Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal affected federal courts and other legal practices; contrasts the thoughts of Blackstone and Bentham
"... the Due Process clause, says that government cannot take property from any person, subject anyone to double jeopardy, compel anyone to testify against himself, or deprive anyone 'of life, liberty, or property without due process of law' (emphasis mine). As William F. Shughart II, writes, the key issue of this clause deals with whether or not the concept of 'due process' was 'substantive' or 'procedural.' The former interpretation would require a high burden of proof of a 'public' need for government to act, while the second would be nothing more than a nuisance for public officials ... "
"The Police Force Is Watching the People", by Sheldon Richman, 22 Aug 2014
Argues that the facts are crucial when examining an incident such as occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, and that the role of police must be re-examined
"In the current context, it is imperative that anytime a police officer shoots someone, a public adversarial proceeding should be held where all the evidence can presented. It could be a full-blown trial or a hearing to determine if a trial is warranted. But objectivity and transparency must be priorities. The public must see that the police officer is being judged without favor."
The Soviet-Style Attack on NORFED, by Jacob Hornberger, 21 Nov 2007
Discusses the federal raid on NORFED (National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code) and the differences between a criminal search warrant and temporary injuctions used in civil proceedings
"In a civilized country based on the rule of law, people cannot have their lives, liberty, and property taken away from them without notice, hearing, opportunity to be heard, and other fundamental aspects of procedural due process. Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 world in which we now live, anything goes as far as federal power is concerned."
Was Freeborn John Tortured in Vain?, by Wendy McElroy, 16 Aug 2011
Reviews the history of the right against self-incrimination in England and early America, then describes certain modern attempts to diminish its applicability
"Today guarantees such as due process are often portrayed as encumbrances that threaten security or justice by shackling authorities who are hunting the heinous, like terrorists; the conflict is usually expressed as 'liberty versus security.' Although due process can occasionally protect a guilty man, the intended and overwhelming beneficiary is the man in the street who, whether he realizes it or not, is protected against the exercise of arbitrary power. ... The right against self-incrimination lies at the core of American due process. It is historically anchored in the quest for religious freedom, which was instrumental in founding America."

Cartoons and Comic Strips

I'd Like to Report a Case of Identity Theft, by Ann Telnaes, 9 Jun 2005

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Due process" as of 06 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.