The legacy of the privacy rights doctrine points to the permanent problem of Court efforts to deal with changing social needs, values, and interests though appeal of traditional norms long supportive of quite different relationships. The right of privacy affirmed in Griswold still stands, but clearly is jeopardized by increasingly restrictive Court rulings on protections for abortion, its most important doctrinal application.
Griswold v. Connecticut
In Connecticut of 1879 it made it a crime for any person to use any drug, article, or instrument to prevent conception. This statute had been challenged twice before, in 1943 (Tileston v. Ullman), where the Supreme Court held that the plaintiff lacked standing, and in 1961 (Poe v. Ullman), where the Court determined that the controversy was not ripe because the plaintiff had not been prosecuted. By 1965, however, the Court determined to resolve the constitutionality of the statute. The Suit was initiated by two members of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut. Its executive director and medical director had been convicted of violating the statute by giving information, instruction, and medical advice to married persons regarding means of preventing conception . . In the Supreme Court the majority determined that, (1) the defendants had standing to raise the constitutional rights of people with whom they had a professional relationship; and (2) the statute was invalid because it infringed on the constitutionally protected right to “privacy” of married persons. The constitutional theory protected basic constitutional rights and applied them against the states in conventional fashion under the Fourteenth Amendment, and it mandated a stricter scrutiny for laws that interfere with “fundamental personal rights”. Though the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy, the various guarantees within the Bill of...