Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

From today’s Wired Magazine:

A READER OF the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could understandably conclude that the Constitution’s protection of privacy was a relatively short-lived experiment, beginning in 1965 with the court’s famous decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which first declared a “right of privacy” as implicit in the Constitution and involving the choice to use contraception, and ending emphatically in 2022 with Dobbs’ dismissive rejection of a privacy right to abortion.

But the reality is that the Constitution’s protection of privacy did not begin with Griswold and will not end with Dobbs. Dobbs has left the Constitution’s protection of privacy severely stunted and largely pared back to its textual roots, but privacy rights live on in different forms and will be embraced in the future, even by this Supreme Court.

The rationale of Griswold in finding a constitutional right of privacy was that respect for individual privacy was an animating value of the Constitution, evidenced repeatedly in the text by specific guarantees. Justice William Douglas’ majority opinion pointed out that certain rights reflected heightened concern with privacy, including the Fourth Amendment’s protection of persons, papers, and effects from government searches; the Third Amendment’s bar against quartering soldiers in private homes; and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against compelling individuals to surrender evidence against themselves.

And for decades before Griswold, the Supreme Court regularly found legal protection outside the Constitution for aspects of individual privacy against invasion by the government and private parties in a variety of settings.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor