Source: Gideon v Wainwright (1963)

In agreeing with the Court that the right to counsel in a case such as this should now be expressly recognized as a fundamental right embraced in the Fourteenth Amendment, I wish to make a further observation. When we hold a right or immunity, valid against the Federal Government, to be "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty" [Footnote 4/6] and thus valid against the States, I do not read our past decisions to suggest that, by so holding, we automatically carry over an entire body of federal law and apply it in full sweep to the States. Any such concept would disregard the frequently wide disparity between the legitimate interests of the States and of the Federal Government, the divergent problems that they face, and the significantly different consequences of their actions.

  • Against is like vis-à-vis.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


I assume "against" is associated with the validity of "immunity". Consider a similar use with "effective against":

This medicine raises your immunity to certain disease. The medicine's immunity is effective against the measles and against smallpox.

Here, the judge is talking about a right that grants legal immunity against the power of certain governments. My example says that some medicine is effective when providing protection from certain diseases. The author here recognizes that some legal right to immunity is legally valid when providing protection from the Federal Government and the States' governments.

Also, because the first valid against is offset by commas, it appears to be a relative clause:

When we hold a right or immunity ([that is] valid against the Federal Government) to be "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty" and thus valid against the States, ...

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