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Paper Two

Paper Two - Yip 1 Stacey Yip Zeynep Bulut DOC 2 Section A12...

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Yip 1 Stacey Yip Zeynep Bulut DOC 2: Section A12 3 March 2010 Limits on Privacy “None of your business” is a phrase commonly heard in today’s society, referring to one’s individual right to privacy and most often said without any second thought as to what would happen if that right were to be taken away. Often taken for granted now, this right of privacy was the center of controversy years before in numerous cases, where arguments were made as to whether privacy was even protected by the Constitution and what limitations should be made. In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Connecticut law prohibited the use of contraception. Arguing that the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment, it was taken to the Supreme Court, which in turn struck down the law as unconstitutional. This court case was a pivotal point in American history, paving the path of future cases in arguing that the right of privacy is a fundamental right implied and protected in the Constitution. Several years later, in Roe v. Wade (1973) , the Supreme Court upheld the right of privacy for a woman to undergo an abortion if she so chose to, using much of the logic behind Griswold . In 1986, however, the right of privacy was challenged in Bowers v. Hardwick when the Supreme Court upheld the Georgia statute that criminalized the act of sodomy, claiming that there was no issue of a violation of privacy because sodomy does not fall into that category. The right to privacy is a fundamental right implied in the Constitution that all American citizens are entitled to based on the First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as the majority opinion in Griswold concluded. This right to privacy, however, must have its limitations, which are argued in the dissenting opinion of Roe
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Yip 2 and the majority opinion of Bowers . Privacy may be a fundamental right, but this right can only be extended so far before going against the majority consensus and reaching a level of ambiguity. Ultimately, the right of privacy must be limited before crossing the line of morality based on the history and tradition of American values. The right to privacy is a fundamental right implied by the Constitution in the context of using contraception by a married couple, as argued in the Griswold majority opinion. Justice Douglas argued that something as simple as a marriage is such a private relationship that the right to use contraception is certainly a fundamental right of privacy: “Would we allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives? The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship” ( Griswold 273). Here, Douglas claims that physically invading the marital bedroom is the same as forbidding a married couple to use contraception. He argues that the use of contraception should be an issue discussed within the marriage relationship, and that it should not be an issue up to the state to decide. Justice Goldberg concurs that, “Connecticut’s birth-
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Paper Two - Yip 1 Stacey Yip Zeynep Bulut DOC 2 Section A12...

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