"Whatever disagreement there may be as to the scope of the phrase “due process of law” there can be no doubt that it embraces the fundamental conception of a fair trial, with opportunity to be heard."
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
(1841-1935) US Supreme Court Justice, also known as "The Great Dissenter"
Frank v. Magnum, 1915
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Reader comments about this quote:
The due process one gets IF the case is allowed to go to jury is the courtroom process the judge wants to follow as they are no longer constitutional courts.
 -- Anon     
    In cases as simple as traffic tickets. The executive officer claiming a violation of an alien potentates rule immediately leaves his executive position and acts as a judge to assign a court date without as much as a grand jury, or otherwise appropriately authorized body reviewing the evidence. At the requirement of a signature, it is not designated what the appearance is for or what purpose it will fulfill (because it is an alleged executive officer creating the summons, for all the alleged violater knows it is for an executive hearing - or something?). Once an individual enters the court it is said that he has waived all rights to that point (including that of a grand jury or other appropriately authorized body) Under what lawful Nexus did civil penalties become due process of law for satisfying the criminal act of a traffic violation? hmm? (law enforcement has put on a new hat entitled revenuer) I, have personal experience in a federal court where the proceedings were far worse than any imaginary kangaroo court could have ever been. When trying to appeal and correct the official record, the appeal was found to be frivolous, not allowing any of the truth to be known. I've also mentioned an attorney friend that was held under the Patriot Act and would not have got a trial if he and his brother attorney had not been as sufficient and diligent as they were. "due process of law" is more for entertainment venues now, much more than actual governmental application.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Anonymous      
    If Obama gets his current nominee on the Supreme Court, it will only get worse, much worse.
     -- jim k, austin     
    The jury is the last line of defense against a runaway government. The jury may judge both facts and law. The idea was that one in twelve of one's own peers decide whether the law is good and the defendant guilty or that the law is bad and the defendent is innocent. 99% of cases NEVER go to trial, are settled out of court, as wards of the state the defendants simply accept the best deal their lawyer can get. If enough American people learned this fact, we could get rid of most of the bad laws on the books because jurors would not convict their fellows-in-oppression.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
    Juries can in fact judge both fact and law. That has been clearly the case for hundreds of years and is supported by numerous case law examples. Yet, judges will lie to the jury and tell them that their only job is to judge fact. He will tell them that if the law is not just they should petition the legislature and he will imply that is the only recourse. Most jurors are either ignorant that is their duty to judge both fact and law, or they simply don't care. It is too often the last line of defense is a very poor and unreliable one.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Ken, just a couple of weeks ago a judge decided to include some friends of mine at the last minute in a suit against their adult son because he didn't have enough insurance to cover the suit. They were not involved in anyway, other than being known of the judge. At that, the jury found them not responsible and not guilty. The judge overturned the jury's decision and told my friends that if they didn't like it they should petition the legislature. hmm
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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