fundamental right n: a right that is considered by a court (as the U.S. Supreme Court) to be explicitly or implicitly expressed in a constitution (as the U.S. Constitution) NOTE: A court must review a law that infringes on a fundamental right under a standard of strict scrutiny. A fundamental right can be limited by a law only if there is a compelling state interest.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.