Legal Memorandum: Substantive and Procedural Due Process Rights

Issue: Do the due process guarantees of the Federal and the California constitutions protect both substantive and procedural due process rights?

Area of Law: Constitutional Law
Keywords: Substantive and procedural due process rights; Due process guarantees
Jurisdiction: California, Federal
Cited Cases: 941 P.2d 851; 66 Cal. Rptr. 2d 672; 986 P.2d 182
Cited Statutes: U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1; Cal. Const. art. 1, § 7
Date: 04/01/2001

The Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1.  The California Constitution also contains due process guarantees.  Cal. Const. art. 1, § 7.  Although the concept of due process is nearly impossible to precisely define, the California Supreme Court has stated that, in the context of due process, a party challenging a statute must show that it “offends some principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.”  People v. Falsetta, 21 Cal. 4th 903, 913, 986 P.2d 182, 187, 89 Cal. Rptr. 2d 847, 853 (1999).  Due process has been defined to include both procedural due process (governing the fairness of judicial and administrative procedures) and substantive due process (governing the fairness of legislative conduct).  Kavanau v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd., 16 Cal. 4th 761, 766, 941 P.2d 851, 857, 66 Cal. Rptr. 2d 672, 678 (1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S.1077 (1998).


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