Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science

First Advisor

Barry W. Pyle


One of the fundamental elements of our government system is the broad concept of a right to fair treatment -- that even those accused or guilty of violating the law have due to them the right to a fair process. However, we regard a citizen's right to life, liberty, and property to be so significant or substantive that there is no due process fair enough to cover infringement of certain freedoms. This has come to be known as substantive due process. Through an analysis of judicial theory and Supreme Court decisions, I compare the use of substantive due process on economic protections and relate the Court's decision-making methods to modern civil liberties jurisprudence and decide whether the Court is acting within its power to actively create constitutional rights. Although substantive due process is by and large no longer used in an economic standpoint today, the Supreme Court continues to utilize its guarantees to protect the invasion of people's privacy.

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