"Substantive Due Process" is the fundamental constitutional legal theory upon which the Griswold/Roe/Casey
privacy right is based. The doctrine of Substantive Due Process holds that the Due Process Clause
not only requires "due process," that is, basic procedural
rights, but that it also protects basic substantive
rights. "Substantive" rights are those general rights that reserve to the individual the power to possess or to do certain things, despite the government’s desire to the contrary. These are rights like freedom of speech and religion. "Procedural" rights are special rights that, instead, dictate how
the government can lawfully go about taking away a person’s freedom or property or life, when the law otherwise gives them the power to do so.Due Process Clause (14th Amendment) [No State shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
The most obvious requirement of the Due Process Clause if that states afford certain procedures ("due process") before depriving individuals of certain interests ("life, liberty, or property"). Although it is probably the case that the framers used the phrase "life, liberty, or property" to be a shorthand for important interests, the Supreme Court adopted a more literal interpretation and requires individuals to show that the interest in question is either their life, their liberty, or their property--if the interest doesn't fall into one of those three boxes, no matter how important it is, it doesn't qualify for constitutional protection. Thus, for example, the Court has ruled that the government may severely damage an individual's reputation (by, for example, putting his name on a list of "known shoplifters") without affording process.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Company v. Campbell
Defendant Curtis Campbell sued his insurance carrier, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. after Plaintiff refused to settle a suit against Curtis, resulting in a jury returning a verdict against Defendant for $185,849 more than the original parties suing Defendant were willing to settle for.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the imposition of grossly excessive or arbitrary punishments on a tortfeasor; the reason is that elementary notions of fairness enshrined in constitutional jurisprudence dictate that a person receive fair notice not only of the conduct that will subject him to punishment, but also of the severity of the penalty that a state may impose.