|Tileston v. Ullman|
|Argued January 13–14, 1943|
Decided February 1, 1943
|Full case name||Tileston v. Ullman|
|Citations||318 U.S. 44 ( more )|
|Prior||129 Conn. 84, 26 A.2d 582 (1942)|
|Connecticut anticontraception statute valid|
Tileston v. Ullman, 318 U.S. 44 (1943), was a United States Supreme Court case.
The Supreme Court of Errors Connecticut held that §§ 6246 and 6562 of the Connecticut General Statutes of 1930 which prohibited the use of drugs or instruments to prevent conception and the giving of assistance or counsel in their use were constitutional. The Supreme Court of the United States assumed without first determining if the case was an appropriate one for a declaratory judgment, ruled that the statutes "prohibit the action proposed to be done" by appellant and "are constitutional."
Appellee claims that appellant, a physician, committed such an offense for giving professional advice concerning the use of contraceptives to three patients whose condition of health was such that their lives would be endangered by child-bearing. The appellant contended that because of the nature of his patients' exceptional condition in light of the danger child-bearing could pose for them that this was a just reason for the advice to be authorized and necessary. However, his complaint contained no allegations asserting any claim under the Fourteenth Amendment of infringement of appellant's liberty or his property rights. The relief prayed was a declaratory judgment as to whether the statutes are applicable to appellant and, if so, whether they constitute a valid exercise of constitutional power "within the meaning and intent of Amendment XIV of the Constitution of the United States prohibiting a state from depriving any person of life without due process of law."
The sole constitutional attack upon the statutes in question are under the Fourteenth Amendment and confined the physician's contention for depravity of life—not appellant's but his patients'. Thus, the life of the appellant himself is not in danger. No genuine case or controversy essential to the exercise of the jurisdiction of the Court for this subject-matter existed until Griswold v. Connecticut .
The Supreme Court held that the proceedings in the state courts presented no constitutional question which appellant has standing to assert. No question is raised as to the applicability and constitutionality of the statutes in their application to the physician in respect to deprivation of liberty or property in contravention of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the court does not speak to whether it has jurisdiction to enforce a law that prevents the use of contraceptives for the state of Connecticut.
Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects the liberty of married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction. The case involved a Connecticut "Comstock law" that prohibited any person from using "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception". The court held that the statute was unconstitutional, and that "the clear effect of [the Connecticut law ...] is to deny disadvantaged citizens ... access to medical assistance and up-to-date information in respect to proper methods of birth control." By a vote of 7–2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy", establishing the basis for the right to privacy with respect to intimate practices. This and other cases view the right to privacy as a right to "protect[ion] from governmental intrusion".
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Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497 (1961), was a United States Supreme Court case that held that plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge a Connecticut law that banned the use of contraceptives and banned doctors from advising their use because the law had never been enforced. Therefore, any challenge to the law was deemed unripe because there was no actual threat of injury to anyone who disobeyed the law. The same statute would later be challenged again (successfully) in Griswold v. Connecticut.
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