If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:3:13

Video transcript

let's talk a little bit about selective incorporation so you are already likely familiar that the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution are the Bill of Rights Bill of Rights and especially the first eight of these are all about protecting individuals rights so you have those rights and but then there is a question to what degree are these rights protected against state laws and this became a little bit clearer once the Fourteenth Amendment came along and just to remind ourselves here section one of the Fourteenth Amendment and we really want to zero in on the due process clause which says nor shall any state deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law now some have argued for total incorporation that says hey look the Fourteenth Amendments making it clear that the state cannot infringe on these rights but what has happened especially in the United States Supreme Court is that on various decisions maybe this was something involving the Fifth Amendment they've ruled that the rights described by that amendment can't be limited by a state law so they would have selectively incorporated the Fifth Amendment from the bill of rights and decision on what the state can and cannot do and their justification there is a due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and to make that a little bit more tangible we can look at some relatively recent cases in 2008 you have the case District of Columbia versus Heller and this is a really interesting case around the Second Amendment the District of Columbia Washington DC had a law that banned handguns and so one of the residents challenges that handgun ban and he goes all the way to the United States Supreme Court and in the decision on District of Columbia vs. Heller the United States Supreme Court says that the District of Columbia cannot pass a law that violates Heller's second Amendment rights because of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment but that's still left a little bit of an opening you fast forward and in 2010 you have another similar case go to the Supreme Court this is McDonough versus Chicago Chicago had a similar handgun ban and McDonald was a resident of Chicago and the government in Chicago argued that okay you know what the District of Columbia versus Heller does not apply to us because that was a federal district and it would not apply to something that is part of a state well the Supreme Court disagreed with Chicago and took the side of McDonald they selectively incorporated using the 14th amendment as their justification they said look the state cannot deprive any person of their liberties and so they selectively incorporated the Second Amendment into that decision and it made it very clear that a state cannot pass a law that infringes on people's second Amendment rights so big picture selective incorporation it's the doctrine where judicial decisions incorporate rights from the Bill of Rights to limit laws from states that are perceived to infringe on those rights and the justification comes from the 14th amendment