Mathews Vs Eldridge Case Study

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The Supreme Court stated, in Mathews v. Eldridge, that the right to be heard in a meaningful way “before being condemned to suffer a grievous loss” is a basic principle of our society. See Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319; 333 (1976) (citing Joint Anti-Fascist Comm. v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123, 168 (1951)). However, they proceeded to counter this by saying that due process was flexible and its procedures should be tailored to the particular situation. See Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319; 333 (1976). In that case, the Social Security Administration believed its procedures provided enough safeguards to protect Mr. Eldridge’s due process rights, but Mr. Eldridge believed additionally procedures were needed before the SSA could cut off his benefits.…show more content…
In fact, the Supreme Court has a history of allowing agency adjudication without a formal hearing. Only when a person has been “exceptionally affected . . . on individual grounds” has the Court required more due process procedures. See Bi-Metallic Investment Co. v. State Board of Equalization, 239 U.S. 441, 446 (1915). To put this another way, extra due process procedures are needed when government action unusually affects an individual in an unfair way. Take for instance, the case of Londoner v. Denver, 210 U.S. 373 (1908). In the early 1900s, the City of Denver decided to make improvements to a specific street. To pay for these improvements the city passed a special assessment (tax) which applied only to the property owners along that stretch of street. However, the tax was not distributed equally among the affected property owners. Instead, the city taxed each property owner based on the perceived benefit their property would receive from the improvements. In other words, each property owner was “exceptionally affected”. The city did this without providing the property owners with notice or an opportunity to be heard. The Supreme Court found that the city had violated the property owners’ due process rights under the 14th Amendment because: 1) the property owners were exceptionally affected by the city’s action and 2) the city had deprived them of notice and an opportunity to be
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