Doctrine of Incorporation Law and Legal Definition

The doctrine of incorporation is the process by which most of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution are applied to the states. The Bill of Rights guarantees basic liberties, such as the right of free speech, religion, and press, the right to bear arms, and others contained in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court began interpreting the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, with the reasoning that certain rights are so fundamental that they are necessary to due process guaranteed to citizens and made applicable to states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Today, selective incorporation exists, applying the First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, Sixth Amendment criminal due process rights, and the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination and required compensation for government takings to states. However, the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Third Amendment ban against quartering troops, the Fifth Amendment right to indictment by a grand jury, and the Seventh Amendment right to a jury in civil cases have not been extended to states.