What significance to the Fourteenth Amendment does Hurtado v. California have?
This case is relevant to the due process clause found in Section 1 of this amendment. That clause forbids states from taking the life, liberty, or property of any person without the due process of law. In this case, the Court was asked to decide what, exactly, is involved in "due process." Specifically, it was asked if a grand jury hearing is necessary before a defendant can be brought to trial. The state had brought Hurtado to trial based on information, not on an indictment handed down by a grand jury. The Court ruled that this did not violate Hurtado's due process rights. By making this ruling, the Court helped to define the details of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.