Law professors Helen Alvaré and Rachel Rebouché discussed the landmark Supreme Court Case Griswold v. Connecticut, in which Planned Parenthood challenged an 1879 state law banning the use of birth control. They spoke about the background of the law and the Supreme Court cases preceding the Griswold case.
Griswold v. Connecticut struck down a Connecticut law, applied to married couples, that banned contraceptives and the ability to receive information about the use of contraceptives. In a 7-2 decision, the Court ruled that the Connecticut law violated the right to privacy. This landmark Supreme Court case expanded the rights found in the Constitution and paved the way for court cases like Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges. This lesson has students explore the background of the case, the majority and dissenting opinions and the legacy of Griswold v. Connecticut.
As a class, view the following videos and engage in class discussion to establish an understanding the background of the case.
HANDOUT: Griswold v. Connecticut (Google Doc)
VIDEO CLIP: The Legal Background of Griswold v. Connecticut (3:02)
VIDEO CLIP: Griswold v. Connecticut as a Test Case for Birth Control Laws (4:52)
VIDEO CLIP: Societal Factors in Griswold v. Connecticut (2:11)
View this collection of videos to learn about the Constitutional arguments, ruling and opinions in this case.
VIDEO CLIP: Constitutional Arguments in Griswold v. Connecticut (4:30)
VIDEO CLIP: The Decision in Griswold v. Connecticut (4:55)
VIDEO CLIP: The Dissenting Opinion and Arguments Against Griswold v. Connecticut (2:54)
VIDEO CLIP: Griswold v. Connecticut's Impact on other Supreme Court Cases (3:41)
VIDEO CLIP: The Importance of Griswold v. Connecticut (2:30)
Additional Writing Prompts-
How did Griswold v. Connecticut help create the foundation for the Roe v. Wade ruling?
How did the ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut reshape judicial interpretation of rights found in the Constitution?
Explain how Griswold v. Connecticut impacted Constitutional rights not specifically found in the Constitution?
Similar to the right to privacy, what other rights do you think are guaranteed but not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution?