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

Gelernt responded that the parent would then have to file a separate lawsuit under due process law. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump administration says detained parents must decide whether to keep families intact," 10 July 2018 And in the case of the United States, the guarantee of freedom and due process in a Constitution and Bill of Rights that apply, not to one group, but to all, including the president and the newcomers among us. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "The real fireworks this 4th of July? National anxiety. What’s happening to our country?," 4 July 2018 The states allege the border policy violates immigrants’ Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection under the law and due process. Fortune, "17 States Sue Trump Over Family Separation Policy," 26 June 2018 Among their arguments are claims that they were denied due process during the grand jury’s investigation and that their reputations will be unjustly sullied. Liz Navratil, Philly.com, "Pa. Supreme Court justices got more than $180K in donations from law firms in clergy abuse case, records show," 11 July 2018 In recent months Sessions has made other changes aimed at reducing the case backlog but have raised concerns over their potential impact on due process. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "With 'zero tolerance,' new strain on already struggling immigration courts," 9 July 2018 And in addition to unlawful and indefinite detainment of adult refugees, Trump has seemingly called for deportation proceedings to continue without due process for detainees. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Judge Blocked Trump Administration's Blanket Detention of Asylum Seekers," 3 July 2018 Brill blames the tortoise-like pace of government rule-writing on due process run amok. New York Times, "America Has Gone Off the Rails. Steven Brill Sees Ways to Get It Back on Track.," 2 July 2018 The same Alan Dershowitz has been hyper-critical of Black Lives Matter, saying the movement focuses too much attention on the unequal treatment of black people while not focusing enough on due process for the white police officers that kill them. Monique Judge, The Root, "Rich White People Shunning Other Rich White People For Supporting Donald Trump Is Hilarious," 2 July 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

7 Nov 2018

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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

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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