Griswold v Connecticut case brief

here you will see the Griswold v Connecticut case brief.

Griswold v Connecticut is a landmark case in U.S constitutional law.

Griswold v Connecticut case protected the rights to marital privacy by declaring the law that prohibited any person from using any drug, medicinal article, or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception unconstitutional.

Here I will share with you the Griswold v Connecticut case brief to help you understand everything you need to know about the Griswold v Connecticut case in a simple and accurate way.

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Griswold v Connecticut case brief

Griswold v. Connecticut – 381 U.S. 479, 85 S. Ct. 1678 (1965)

Decided on Decided June 7, 1965


Justice Douglas, Supreme Court of the United States


Estelle T. Griswold (Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut) and C. Lee Buxton (Medical Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, New Haven clinic), Appellants and the State of Connecticut, Respondent.


The Appellant sued and was convicted by the Connecticut Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit.

The conviction was upheld by the Appellate Division of the Circuit Court, and by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

They further appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. The U.S supreme court reversed the Decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court.


The appellants were charged and convicted for violating the Connecticut Comstock Act of 1873, (the statute) the law which made the use of contraceptives for married couples illegal.

Appellants were accused of providing information, instruction, and medical advice to married couples on methods of preventing conception consequently were found guilty as accessories and fined $100 each.

Appellants appealed on the ground that the Statute violated the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The conviction was upheld by the Appellate Division of the Circuit Court, and by the Connecticut Supreme Court, thus they appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.


whether the statute is unconstitutional


In reaching its decision the court applied the Bill of Rights  (First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments) and the United States Constitution.


When applying the law to the facts, the court reasoned that  The Bill of Rights includes a penumbra that protects privacy from government interference, which, while not expressly stated in the Amendments, is required to make the express provisions meaningful.

Marriage is a privacy right that predates the Bill of Rights, and the state’s attempt to regulate marital conduct in this instance is overbroad and thereby infringes on protected constitutional rights.


Yes, the Connecticut Comstock Act of 1873, is unconstitutional.


The decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court was reversed.

Concurring opinion

Justice Arthur Goldberg, Justice John Marshall Harlan II, and  Justice Byron White concurred.

Justice Arthur Goldberg wrote the separate opinion and emphasized that the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution (which states that if the Constitution enumerates certain rights but does not enumerate others it does not mean that the other rights do not exist) is sufficient provision to support court findings on the constitutional protection of the rights to marital privacy.

Justice John Marshall Harlan II concurred with the Court and issued a concurring opinion in which he argued that the right to privacy should be safeguarded under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

Justice Byron White said in a concurring opinion, detailing how he considered Connecticut’s statute failed rational basis examination. “I totally fail to see how the ban on the use of contraceptives by married couples in any way enhances the State’s ban on illicit sexual relationships,”

Dissenting opinion

Justices Hugo Black and Potter Stewart dissented.

They both argued that the Court had no foundation to strike down Connecticut’s Comstock Law because the US Constitution does not directly address privacy in any of its clauses.

Read the full opinion here

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Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Isack Kimaro brings over 7 years of extensive experience in professional writing. My career has been dedicated to mastering the art of clear, effective communication, essential for successfully professional correspondence.