International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Human Security and Constitutional Rights: Lessons from Substantive Due Process Cases
William D. Lay, J.D.

To provide human security, governments should protect civil and political as well as social and economic rights. This article posits a tripartite distinction between first-order rights that are easily created and altered in the democratic process, second-order rights that arise from beyond that process and are given constitutional protection, and third-order values that transcend the legal process. The article discusses the natural law view of rights that underlies the Anglo-American legal system, and then discusses a line of U.S. Supreme Court cases that seek to identify which rights are so fundamental and important that they are woven into the very notion of due process of law. The article suggests steps to encourage greater participation by the People in political and social processes to achieve greater social and political stability and maturity.

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