The Supreme Court held that violent sexual predator legislation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s substantive due process clause nor did it trigger criminal protections, such as those against ex post facto laws and double jeopardy.
At issue was whether the Kansas violent sexual predator legislation was in effect criminal legislation that violated Gregory L. Hendricks’s rights by imposing double jeopardy or ex post facto punishments. If the legislation was purely civil, then the question was whether the statute violated the substantive due process protections of the Fourteenth Amendment. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court found that the legislation was not criminal and, therefore, the Court did not need to rule on the double jeopardy or ex post facto questions. The Court found that the statute was permissible under the Fourteenth Amendment. All justices conceded that Hendricks was a violent sexual predator with a record of multiple cases of child molestation
Due process, procedural
Due process, substantive
Ex post facto laws