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Supreme Court

Rule of Law

Claremont Colleges

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Substantive Due Process And The Politicization Of The Supreme Court, Eric Millman Jan 2018

Substantive Due Process And The Politicization Of The Supreme Court, Eric Millman

CMC Senior Theses

Substantive due process is one of the most cherished and elusive doctrines in American constitutional jurisprudence. The understanding that the Constitution of the United States protects not only specifically enumerated rights, but also broad concepts such as “liberty,” “property,” and “privacy,” forms the foundation for some of the Supreme Court’s most impactful—and controversial—decisions.

This thesis explores the constitutional merits and politicizing history of natural rights jurisprudence from its application in Dred Scott v. Sandford to its recent evocation in Obergefell v. Hodges. Indeed, from slavery to same-same sex marriage, substantive due process has played a pivotal role ...