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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

Increasingly the courthouse doors across the United States are being closed to litigants in both criminal and civil cases. This trend reflects an increasing loss of faith in, and abandonment of, the adjudicatory process. Painting with broad strokes, and looking at the criminal justice system, the civil justice system, and the War on Terror, it seems that we are no longer a society living up to the constitutional axioms upon which our country is based. By giving up these notions of process, we are giving up something very fundamental to our constitutional birthright. The late Justice William Douglas said we will not lose our freedoms all at once, but rather it is the nature of erosion of liberty that it will happen incrementally, a little bit at a time. I worry that is what is happening now with regard to the most basic notions of fairness and due process.

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