Grisworld v. Connecticut set the stage for Roe. v. Wade (1973), "the most controversial decision of the Court's modern era" (Stephens & Scheb, 2003). But its important in its own right, too; for Griswold is described in American Constitutional Law as a "landmark
that recognized an independent constitutional right of privacy" (Stephens & Scheb, 2003). For this assignment, I'd like to review Griswold's case history, legal reasoning, and the changing state of social thought for this case is founded in and partly responsible for.
Appellant Griswold was the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut. Undercover detectives were given a tour of the clinic, who noted that the clinic was dispensing condoms contrary to Connecticut state law. Strikingly, in modern consideration, after three days of business at a new clinic, Griswold and appellant Buxton the League's Medical Director were arrested and fined in November of 1961 for giving medical advice to married persons for the purpose of contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965; Stephens & Scheb, 2003). Though the notion may strike a puzzling chord with modern conventions, contraception, when viewed with a historic eye, is very new and, therefore, was very unnatural thing in its time. The case points out the striking level of governmental involvement in doctor patient relationship at the time and the change in social thought.
The issue of constitutionality raised by the defendants appealing the conviction and fine involved the General Statutes of Connecticut, in particular statutes §§53-32 and 54-196 (1938) (Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965). Despite the defendant's backing claim that the Fourteenth Amendment providing a constitutional right to privacy implicit in the Bill of Rights (Stephens & Scheb, 2003)and the Connecticut statutes were in conflict, appellants Griswold and Buxton were affirmed as guilty accessories both by the Circuit Court and the Court of Errors...
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