What is the constitutional doctrine of incorporation?


What is the constitutional doctrine of incorporation?

The U.S. Constitution:

At the time of the ratification process of the Constitution, a Bill of Rights was introduced and became the first 10 Amendments. This contained many fundamental rights that protected the people from the federal government's abuse of those rights. For abuses by the state governments, the people had to rely on their own state?s laws and constitution for protection. To remedy this, the 14th Amendment was ratified. It extended the protection of the federal government to the citizens of the states when their own state violated the fundamental rights of the people.

Answer and Explanation:

The doctrine of incorporation was developed by the Supreme Court to answer the question of which rights would be extended to the state citizens. The doctrine required that before a right was to be incorporated into the rights covered by the 14th Amendment, it had to be a right that was necessary to achieve fundamental notions of justice.

On its face, this didn't really answer the question of which rights, so the court spent the next 100 years deciding, literally on a case-by-case basis, which rights were fundamental and thus incorporated into the rights extended to the states by the 14th Amendment. To determine this, the justices applied the fundamental rule in the incorporation doctrine. If the right was deemed necessary for the person?s protection of fundamental rights, then that right was incorporated.

Learn more about this topic:

Equal Protection Under The Fourteenth Amendment: Definition & Summary


Chapter 9 / Lesson 6

In this lesson, we will learn about the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. We will take a closer look at the history behind this clause, what it contains and what it means to society today.

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