Due Process
By Period 4: Julie Gagliardi, Gregory Zane, Nikolas Wagner Period 6: Kate Perdion, Tyler Wright, Terry Xia


What is Due Process and Where is it Found?
  • A set of established legal principles that seek to protect the rights of citizens.
  • It keeps the Government from misusing their powers and treating individuals unfairly.
  • The 5th Amendment states that citizens can't be deprived of "life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  • The 14th Amendment contains the Due Process Clause which states:
    • "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

external image due+process.jpg


Barron v. Baltimore (1833)

AP Gov Units: Civil Rights, Federalism
Keywords: Just Compensation, Bill of Rights, Federalism.
Mnemonic Device: A citizen is not a Barron over his property.
Background: Barron was an owner of a wharf in Baltimore. The city expanded its infrastructure, sand accumulated in his wharf and prevented him from going into deep water. Barron sued the city to cover his financial loss, citing the Fifth Amendment.
Question: Does the Fifth Amendment deny states and the federal government the power to take property with just compensation?
Answer: No. In a 7-0 vote in favor of the City of Baltimore, the Court said that the limitations in the Fifth Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights were meant only for the federal government, not the states. Because of this, Chief Justice Marshall argued the the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction in this case.
Significance: Because of this ruling, the Marshall Court gave more power to the states. The ruling essentially said that the states could ignore the entire Bill of Rights altogether. Thus, the states were given incredible leeway when it came to protecting citizen’s rights.
Policy Impact: Although the Supreme Court’s ruling was upheld in federal courts, many states still interpreted the Bill of Rights as still applying to them. However, once the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, which prevented states from depriving citizens of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law,” this incorporated many states into following the Bill of Rights.


Berman v. Parker (1954)


AP Gov Units: Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
Keywords: Eminent Domain, Due Process, Just Compensation
Mnemonic Device: Berman wants the government not to Parker on his property!
Background: Congress passed the District of Columbia Redevelopment Act, which created an agency that identified decaying parts of DC and was given the power of eminent domain, the power to seize property. Berman and others you prosecuted stating that the government couldn't seize his property purely for the development of the city.
Question: Did the seizing of Berman’s property for redevelopment violate the Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment?
Answer: No. In an 8-0 decision, the court sided with Parker stating, "If those who govern the District of Columbia decide that the Nation's Capital should be beautiful as well as sanitary, there is nothing in the Fifth Amendment that stands in the way." The Court believed that Congress had the ability to seize property on the basis to help the common good and to decide what values for that action are appropriate.
Significance: Court made the requirements for the constitutionality of the seizing of property very lax. The government could potentially take property to improve the image of an area and beautify the state. A ruling upholding public beautification had never been made before
Policy Impact: In reviewing the case, preservationist Albert Bard noted, “the decision emphasizes the right of community to regulate private property upon the basis of community beauty and appearance, regardless of the more usual factors of health, safety, morals and public convenience. The case is likely to become a leading case in the law of planning and on the controversial matter of public control of private property with respect to exterior appearance.” The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the District of Columbia Redevelopment Act and the agency continued to redevelop blighted areas. In 2005, the case of Berman was reviewed in Kelo v. City of New London and upheld in a 5-4 vote.


Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

Gov units: Civil Liberties; Public Policy
Keywords: Miranda Rights, Counsel, self incrimination
Mnemonic Device: The cops needed to read Miranda his Miranda rights.
Background: In 1966 Ernesto Miranda was charged with rape, kidnapping and robbery. At the time of the arrest, he was not read his rights. So, during his interrogation, he did not have any council with him. Miranda had mental problems, causing him to confess. He was given a sentence of 20-30 years in prison. He appealed this decision multiple times before it reached the Supreme Court.
Question: Does the police practice of interrogating suspects without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violate their Fifth Amendment rights?
Answer: In a five to four decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren the court decided that it was against the Fifth Amendment rights to not read a suspect their rights. The court then outlined all necessary rights to be read to a suspect which were entitled their Miranda Rights.
Significance: The significance of this case is that it set the standard of procedure for how all arrests should be done. After this case, it was made a federal law that all suspects be read their Miranda Rights at the point of arrest.
Policy Impact: This decision impacted our country tremendously. This case has lead to a federal law stating that all suspects must be read their Miranda Rights.


Wolff v. McDonnell (1974)

Gov units: Civil Liberties, Civil Rights
Keywords: Due Process, Prisoners’ Rights
Mnemonic Device: The Wolff’s were mad at mailman McDonnell.
Background: Wolff, on behalf of himself and other inmates at a Nebraska prison, filed a complaint for damages in which he alleged that disciplinary proceedings at the prison violated due process, the inmate legal assistance program did not meet constitutional standards, and that the regulations governing inmates' mail were unconstitutionally restrictive.
Question: Did the prison system fail to meet the rights of the prisoners to due process through disciplinary proceedings, a legal assistance program, and by restricting mail service to inmates?
Answer: Court ruled in favor of Wolff 6 votes to 3 votes. Inmates may lose their privilege to sentence reductions but due process demands that certain procedures be in place so inmates are not deprived of their freedom.
Significance: Wolff v McDonnell created a constant level of rights for prisoners that cannot be violated by prison systems.
Policy Impact: Established prisoners’ rights to:
  • be notified of charges against them before their disciplinary hearings.
  • call witness’ to testify at their hearings.
  • Assistance in presenting a defense
  • an impartial decision maker


Smith v. Phillips (1982)

Gov. units: Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
Keywords: Withholding of Information, Application
Mnemonic Device: Smith said the judge needs to Phillips the case.
Background: A respondent being convicted of murder wanted his charge to be vacated because a juror in his trial handed in an application to work at the District Attorney’s Office and the prosecutors withheld their knowledge on the matter during trial.
Question: Was due process process denied by the juror applying for a job at the District Attorney’s Office or by the prosecutors who failed to disclose the job application to the court.
Answer: The court ruled that the respondent was not denied due process by the actions of the juror or the prosecutors.
Significance:Smith v Phillips ruled that due process does not require a new trial every time a juror is placed in a potentially compromising situation.
Policy Impact: Now all court cases are conducted without a mistrial if a juror is placed in a potentially compromising situation.


Richards v. Jefferson County (1995)

Gov units: Civil Liberties; Public Policy
Keywords: Barred
Mnemonic: Device: Richards’ occupation is in Jefferson County.
Background: Jason Richards and a few others were private employees in Jefferson County. They filed a case saying that the county’s occupational tax was unconstitutional to both the state and federal constitutions. Prior to this case, other smaller cases had been barred.
Question: May the Alabama residents continue with the suit even though the other, smaller cases had been barred?
Answer: In a unanimous decision, the court decided in favor of Richards, saying that smaller cases of the same problem that did not get enough representation should not prevent them from filing a case and having it be heard.
Significance: This case was important because it allowed cases on the same topic to be tried more than once. Now, if a similar case came up with better evidence it could be heard and justice could be served as needed.


Babbitt v. Youpee (1996)

AP Gov Units:
Judicial Branch
Civil Rights
Civil Liberties
Keywords:
Takings Clause
Fifth Amendment
Background: Congress created the Indian Land Consolidation Act to reduce the amount of fracturing of Indian lands. In Section 207 of this bill prohibited the fractionation of lands that constituted less than 2 percent of the total acreage and earned less than 100 dollars in the previous year. This was increased to five years upon being tried and found in contradiction to the Takings Clause because it made no reference to a payment for the property. Youpee’s will passed land on in a manner that fell into the parameters of Section 207, and the lands were redistributed.
Question: Did the revised version of Section 207 still contradict the Takings Clause?
Answer: 8 for Youpee, 1 against: Yes. The new provision that was supposed to remedy the old still did not provide for any payment for the property taken. Ginsberg said that it "severely restricts the right of an individual to direct the descent of his property."
Significance: It strengthened the power and necessity of the payment in the Takings Clause.
Policy Impact: Future cases could use this as a reference and would not need to go to court.


American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company v. Sullivan (1998)

AP Gov Units: Civil Rights
Mnemonic Device: AMMI is not the state.
Background: Workers Compensation Act of Pennsylvania states that once an employer’s and employee’s liability has been established, then either one or the other is responsible for paying the medical treatment. Later this Act was amended so that insurers could withhold payment for disputed treatments.
Question: (1)Can a private insurers action of withholding a disputed payment be considered a state action, and thus bring them under the Fourteenth Amendment? (2) Do workers have a constitutionally protected right to payment and medical treatment?
Answer: No to both. In an 8-1 decision, the court stated that a deprivation must be caused by state law and fairly attributed to the state to be under the scrutiny of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the deprivation in this case was due to state law, it is not attributed to the state’s actions. The creation of that dispute does not make the state directly involved in the conflict. Also, the insurers were not acting because of the state’s decision, but only the absence of regulation. In response to the second question, the workers were not entitled to payment of medical treatment, only that which is “reasonable” and “necessary.”
Significance: This states that any deprivation that a private citizen causes another citizen within the confines of state law is not the fault of the state. It also limits the definition of life, liberty, or property, by stating that citizens are not entitled to receive payment for medical treatment.
Policy Impact: This allows any deprivation that is both legal and not directly involving the state to be allowed. Also, the response to the second question can be used in an argument in a bill to invalidate a law that would make healthcare a right.


Apprendi v. New Jersey (1999)

AP Gov Units: Civil Rights
Mnemonic Device: A court can’t apprehend Apprendi twice without a jury.
Background: Apprendi shot a gun at an African-American family’s home. He stated he did it on account of their race, which he later retracted. He was charged with second-degree use of a firearm for unlawful purposes, which leads to a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison. He was not, however, charged under the hate crime statute. The prosecutor filed to enhance the sentence. The court ruled that the crime was motivated to intimidate another race and as a result he was given a 12-year sentence in jail. Apprendi claimed that the Due Process clause requires that he be convicted of a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Question: Does the Fourteenth Amendment require that any fact that enhances the penalty of a crime be brought to a jury?
Answer: Yes, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court stated that a fact that enhances a penalty of a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be brought before a jury.
Significance: This ensures that more cases be brought before a jury and as a result extends the range over which juries have a say in the conviction of their peers.
Policy Impact: This means that any citizen regardless of his crime can only have their sentence enhanced when brought before his/her peers. This slows the judicial process and makes it more difficult for sentences to be given out.


Sell v. United States (2003)

Gov Units: Civil Rights, Civil Liberties
Keywords: Due Process, Charles Sell, Mental Illness
Mnemonic Device: The U.S. thought he was crazy and medicated Sell in hopes of putting him into a prison cell.
Background: Charles Sell was being convicted of fraud and attempted murder and was found competent to stand trial. After an order to be hospitalized to see the scope of Sell’s capacity, Sell was forced to take psychological medicine to render Sell competent to stand trial.
Question: Does the Federal Government have the ability to forcefully give a mentally ill defendant anti psychotic drugs to make the defendant competent to stand trial.
Answer: In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Government does have the right to give psychological medicine without the defendant will if it makes the defendant able to stand trial.
Significance: It increases the power of the Federal Government by allowing it to manage the mental states of criminal defendants to stand trial.
Policy Impact: Now all criminal defendants can forcefully be give anti psychotic drugs to make them more competent to stand trial.


Wilkinson v. Austin (2005)

AP Gov Units:
Civil Rights
Civil Liberties
Judicial Branch
Keywords:
Due Process Clause
14th Amendment
Background: A high security prison was opened in Ohio, and Ohio issued a “New Policy” for placement into the facility, including formal procedures on placing prisoners in the facility. The prisoners sued the prison, declaring their rights to due process from the 14th Amendment violated.
Question: Did the policies for placement into Ohio’s prison violate the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment?
Answer: No (9-0 unanimous decision), the Court ruled that the policies of the Ohio prison provided sufficient protection of the rights of the prisoners that the Due Process Clause was not violated.
Significance: Due Process has certain limitations, and sometimes the clause is not violated even when it may seem so.
Policy Impact: If policies provide sufficient protection (this is judged by the Court), they do not violate the Due Process Clause.


Dixon v. United States (2006)

Gov Units: Judiciary, Civil Liberties
Key words: Duress defense
Mnemonic: Dixon’s duress defense
Background: Keisha Dixon was arrested for illegally buying firearms. She claimed that her boyfriend was very violent and she feared he would hurt her or her children if she did not purchase the weapons. She was convicted and appealed to the Fifth Amendment Court of appeals, saying should couldn't carry the burden of proving her duress defense.
Question: When a defendant raises a duress defense, whose responsibility is it to prove it?
Answer: In a 7 to 2 decision, the court agreed that the burden of finding the proof is on the defendant, not the government. Dixon tried to express to the court that it is impossible for someone under duress to prove they acted “willfully” and thus it is the government’s job to prove that she didn't act “willfully”.
Significance: The significance of this case is that it decided how a duress defense should be proved. Before this case, there was a grey area on who should prove if a defendant acted “willfully”.
Policy Impact: This case clearly outlined who in any given case is responsible for proving a duress defense It is now law that it is a defendants responsibility to prove their own duress.


Berghuis v. Thompkins (2009)

AP Gov Units:
Civil Rights
Civil Liberties
Judicial Branch
Keywords:
5th Amendment
6th Amendment
Miranda Rights
right to counsel
Background: Van Chester Thompkins was convicted of murder, assault with intent to murder, and multiple firearms charges. Thompkins appealed, saying his Fifth Amendment rights were violated in his confession and he was denied the right to effective counsel at trial. The Sixth Circuit Court said the Michigan Supreme court, where it was originally tried, was unreasonable due to the fact that Thompkins had refused to sign a waiver that said his Miranda rights had been read. The Sixth Circuit also believed that the Michigan Supreme Court had also improperly decided that Thompkins had not been affected by his counsels failure to provide proper assistance.
Question:
1) Did the Sixth Circuit wrongly apply the Miranda rule when it said the defendant's Fifth Amendment rights were violated?
2) Did the Sixth Circuit fail to respect the state court when it granted habeas corpus considering the defendant's ineffective counsel when there was evidence of the defendant's guilt?
Answer: 5 for Berghuis, 4 for Thompkins: Yes, Yes. The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit, saying that the state’s decision to reject Thompkins Miranda claim was proper. The Court decided that Thompkins had failed invoke his Miranda rights to remain silent, and his right to counsel because he failed to do so clearly. Furthermore, he revoked his Miranda rights when he knowingly made a statement to the police. Finally, Thompkins had no way to prove that his counsel was prejudiced.
Significance: This case limited the functionality of the Miranda rights.
Policy Impact: In future cases the Miranda rights would have less power and there would be a stricter use of the counsel provided for the defendant.

Vocab Words:
See Keywords for each individual court case

Quiz Questions:
1. Which Amendment contains the Due Process Clause?
a. Third
b. Second
c. Fourteenth
d. Sixteenth

2. Which Supreme Court case established the "Miranda Rights"?

3. True or False: Due Process allows the Government to treat individuals unfairly.

4. What year was Barron v. Baltimore decided?
a. 1833
b. 1843
c. 1853
d. 1863

5. Which court case deals with inmates at a Nebraskan prison filing a complaint saying that the prison failed to meet the rights of the prisoners to due process? ___

Works Cited:
"BERMAN v. PARKER." Berman v. Parker. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"Berman v. Parker (1954)." The New York Preservation Archive Project |. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"MIRANDA v. ARIZONA." Miranda v. Arizona. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"Wolff v. McDonnell - 418 U.S. 539 (1974)." Justia US Supreme Court Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"Criminal Justice: Prisoners' Rights." Criminal Justice: Prisoners' Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"BABBITT v. YOUPEE." Babbitt v. Youpee. Oyez, n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.
"LexisNexis® Litigation Essentials." LexisNexis® Litigation Essentials. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"Smith v. Phillips - 455 U.S. 209 (1982)." Justia US Supreme Court Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"RICHARDS v. JEFFERSON COUNTY." Richards v. Jefferson County. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. SULLIVAN." American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company v. Sullivan. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"SELL v. UNITED STATES." Sell v. United States. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"APPRENDI v. NEW JERSEY." Apprendi v. New Jersey. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"BARRON v. MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE." Barron v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. Oyez, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
"WILKINSON v. AUSTIN." Wilkinson v. Austin. Oyez, n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.
"Landmark Cases: Barron v. Baltimore." Www.pbs.org. Public Broadcasting Station, n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.
"BERGHUIS v. THOMPKINS." Berghuis v. Thompkins. Oyez, n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.