Due process guarantees are an essential aspect of the US legal system and are designed to protect the individual from the full power of the state. In other words, due process clauses put safeguards in place that prevent the government from infringing upon fundamental individual rights without following appropriate procedures.
There are two types of due process: procedural and substantive. Procedural due process helps to define (and enforce) the process by which criminal defendants are tried, while substantive due process refers to the idea that the due process clauses might protect non-procedural rights, too (Cornell).
Due process is mentioned in two of the twenty-seven amendments to the United States Constitution: the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments. In the Fifth Amendment, the clause states that “[no] ... person [shall be] deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” (qtd. in Smentkowski 2020). This amendment specifically refers to federal law.
In the Fourteenth Amendment, a similar clause is attached:
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. (Qtd. in Encyclopaedia Brittanica)
This clause specifies that individual states are held to the same standards and safeguards as the nation itself.