Living Constitution - Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses

Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses

See also: Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

From its inception, one of the most controversial aspects of the living Constitutional framework has been its association with broad interpretations of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments.

Proponents of the Living Constitution suggest that a dynamic view of civil liberties is vital to the continuing effectiveness of our Constitutional scheme. Not only is it currently seen as unacceptable to suggest that minorities or women are not entitled to liberty or equal protection as they were not at the time of the Constitutional ratification, but neither do advocates of the living Constitution believe that the framers intended, or certainly demanded, that their 18th century practices be regarded as the permanent standard for these ideals.

Living Constitutionalists suggest that broad ideals such as "liberty" and "equal protection" were included in the Constitution precisely because they are timeless, due to their inherently dynamic nature. Liberty in 1791, it is argued, was never thought to be the same as liberty in 1591 or 1991, but rather was seen as a principle transcending the recognized rights of that day and age. Giving them a fixed and static meaning in the name of "originalism," thus, is said to violate the very theory it purports to uphold.

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