SMU Law Review


This Article delves into the nuanced meaning of substantive due process by tracing its historical and contemporary contexts. Beginning with the exploration of pre-ratification state constitutions, the debates surrounding ratification, and early Court views on the Constitution’s nature (perceived not as a code but an enduring collection of principles), the study then addresses the role and meaning of stare decisis as positive of history and tradition, and the role of judicial decision-making in our system starting from Marbury v. Madison. The Article concludes by linking substantive due process to universally recognized fundamental rights, emphasizing that our Constitution’s true intent is to safeguard these inalienable rights in service of our system and “We the People.”

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