The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution include references to due process any time a person is in jeopardy of life and property. While the Amendments themselves do not specifically define what due process is, the Constitution itself provides elements of due process as have subsequent court decisions through the years. For example, the right to know what one is charged with in all criminal matters is in the Bill of Rights, as are the rights to a public trial and the right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you. Any legal proceeding in the United States that fails to uphold these protections is not living up to the protections we claim to value so highly.
A former U.S. Senator is currently fighting for his freedom, as is a former Hall of Fame caliber baseball player. All over America, people high and low are depending on due process to level the playing field, to diminish the power of Goliath, and to stand a chance when forces that want to destroy them are at play. In some cases the guilty will go free; in others the innocent will be punished unjustly. Regardless of the particulars, every American should take a solemn oath to protect and defend the tents of due process, just like the oath sworn by the men who signed the Declaration of Independence.
We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor
What do you think? Is due process something most Americans understand? Can you identify how various elements of due process have been important in your life? How important is due process to the American creed? As for me, I pledge my life, my Fortunes and my sacred Honor.
- Can the President Kill You? by Andrew P. Napolitano (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Substantive Due Process News (volokh.com)