substantive right


Definition of substantive right

: a right (as of life, liberty, property, or reputation) held to exist for its own sake and to constitute part of the normal legal order of society

Examples of substantive right in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And if so, do the substantive rights include a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy? Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Possible Responses to the Major Abortion Case Before the Supreme Court," 5 Mar. 2020 There ought to be a discussion of what the substantive rights of citizens are. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Buried Promise of the Reconstruction Amendments," 9 Sep. 2019 For Judge Tatel, this ruling implies only that Guantánamo detainees lack a substantive right to enter the United States. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "The Supreme Court refuses to hear a Guantánamo detainee's appeal," 12 June 2019 Notice and comment procedures, in which the public is made aware of pending changes in the law and offered a chance to discuss them, typically are required when a new policy affects peoples' substantive rights and interests. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Texas takes DACA to court, says immediate injunction against Obama-era program 'vital to restoring the rule of law'," 8 Aug. 2018 Unions argue that mandatory arbitration requires workers to renounce their substantive rights under federal law, but class actions are a procedural mechanism. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Arbitration Is Back at the Supreme Court," 1 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of substantive right

1939, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about substantive right

Time Traveler for substantive right

Time Traveler

The first known use of substantive right was in 1939

See more words from the same year

Statistics for substantive right

Cite this Entry

“Substantive right.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for substantive right

substantive right


Legal Definition of substantive right

: a right arising from substantive law

Comments on substantive right

What made you want to look up substantive right? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!