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Right to Privacy

Navigation:  Home > Civil Rights Law> Right to Privacy


There is no actual language in the Constitution that gives Americans the right to privacy; indeed, there is no Amendment purporting to give Americans such a right. However, in the 1960 case, Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court of the United States read into the Bill of Rights what was always implicitly there – a right to privacy, existing under natural law, or in the “shadows” and “penumbras” of the Constitution. The case, about the right to use contraceptives, was a landmark decision that more or less set the stage for privacy rights in America, culminating, finally, in the Roe v. Wade decision granting the right to abortion. Nevertheless, the right to privacy is not absolute – and shouldn’t be in certain cases. The rights and limitations of privacy will be discussed in other sections.

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