due process


Definition of due process

1 : a course of formal proceedings (such as legal proceedings) carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles

called also procedural due process

2 : a judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual

called also substantive due process

Examples of due process in a Sentence

Due process requires that evidence not be admitted when it is obtained through illegal methods.

Recent Examples on the Web

The en banc review found the CFPB's structure to be constitutional, but agreed with Kavanaugh that one of the agency's major interpretive decisions had improperly violated due process requirements. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Second day of Kavanaugh hearings erupts into tense cross-examination on Mueller, racial profiling," 6 Sep. 2018 Phillips ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is likely to prove that most of those subject to the remaining injunctions suffered a due process violation. CBS News, "Federal judge blocks Los Angeles from enforcing nearly all remaining gang injunctions," 16 Mar. 2018 Law-and-order conservatives have been pro-prosecutor, and less friendly to due process, since the 1960s as part of their anticrime agenda. Jason Willick, WSJ, "Kamala Harris for the Prosecution," 21 Jan. 2019 The American Civil Liberties Union, Texas Civil Rights Project and other legal advocacy groups have objected, saying the government is interfering with the immigrants’ right to due process. Molly Hennessy-fiske, latimes.com, "'We beg you to help us.' Immigrant women in detention describe their treatment and share fears about their children," 2 July 2018 Among other findings, the report contends that placing Washington children at Clarinda Academy violated their constitutional right to due process under the 14th Amendment, and that the students say they are being held there against their will. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "Report: Washington foster kids sent to Iowa were abused in facility run ‘like a correctional institution’," 17 Oct. 2018 However, Taney reached well beyond the necessary terms of the case to assert that federal legislation excluding slavery from the territories violated the constitutional ban on taking private property without due process. Marc M. Arkin, WSJ, "‘Supreme Injustice’ Review: The High Court and Slavery," 18 Jan. 2019 While Americans have a constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process, no one has a constitutional right to serve on the Supreme Court. Anna North, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh’s Fox News interview, explained in 5 phrases," 25 Sep. 2018 For a five-to-four majority this time, Rehnquist wrote the opinion for the Court saying that the rights and liberties protected by the due process clause are those rights that are deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh likely gives the Supreme Court the votes to overturn Roe. Here’s how they’d do it.," 5 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'due process.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of due process

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

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The first known use of due process was in the 15th century

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due process


English Language Learners Definition of due process

US, law : the official and proper way of doing things in a legal case : the rule that a legal case must be done in a way that protects the rights of all the people involved

due process


Legal Definition of due process

1 : a course of formal proceedings (as judicial proceedings) carried out regularly, fairly, and in accordance with established rules and principles

called also procedural due process

2 : a requirement that laws and regulations must be related to a legitimate government interest (as crime prevention) and may not contain provisions that result in the unfair or arbitrary treatment of an individual

called also substantive due process

Note: The guarantee of due process is found in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which states “no person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” and in the Fourteenth Amendment, which states “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The boundaries of due process are not fixed and are the subject of endless judicial interpretation and decision-making. Fundamental to procedural due process is adequate notice prior to the government's deprivation of one's life, liberty, or property, and an opportunity to be heard and defend one's rights to life, liberty, or property. Substantive due process is a limit on the government's power to enact laws or regulations that affect one's life, liberty, or property rights. It is a safeguard from governmental action that is not related to any legitimate government interest or that is unfair, irrational, or arbitrary in its furtherance of a government interest. The requirement of due process applies to agency actions.

3 : the right to due process acts that violated due process

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