Did the “right to privacy” Argument in Griswold v. Connecticut Hinder the Advancement of Women’s Rights?

Jill Lepore examines the complex history of women’s rights as it played out in the courts from Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which ruled Connecticut’s law banning contraception was unconstitutional, to the present. Griswold was decided on the basis of a couple’s right to privacy, rather than a woman’s right to determine her own path in life. Lepore argues that this precedent carried forward in later judicial decisions to the detriment of women’s struggle for full equality as citizens. “There is a lesson in the past fifty years of litigation. When the fight for equal rights for women narrowed to a fight for reproductive rights, defended on the ground of privacy, it weakened. But when the fight for gay rights became a fight for same-sex marriage, asserted on the ground of equality, it got stronger and stronger.” Read her entire argument here:

From Griswold v. Connecticut to Gay Marriage – The New Yorker.

"Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro; Clockwise from Top Right: Lee Lockwood / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty (Griswold); Paul Morigi / Getty Images for HRC and Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty (Flags); Barbara Alper / Getty (Sign); Purestock / Getty (Supreme Court)"

“Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro; Clockwise from Top Right: Lee Lockwood / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty (Griswold); Paul Morigi / Getty Images for HRC and Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty (Flags); Barbara Alper / Getty (Sign); Purestock / Getty (Supreme Court)”

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“Same-sex marriage: Supreme Court Justices don’t know much about history” – LA Times

Michael Hiltzik, in the LA Times, rightly scolds some of the Supreme Court Justices for their ignorance of history. During the arguments about same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court last week, Chief Justice John Roberts declared, “Every definition that I looked up, prior to about a dozen years ago defined marriage as unity between a man and a woman as husband and wife.” As Hiltzik points out, “He must not have looked very far.” The historical record is very clear that marriage “[i]n definition and practice…has evolved and devolved to meet economic and political demands, shifting cultural norms and biological imperatives. The mandate of procreation to preserve the human race has always been part of the definition of marriage, certainly, but rarely the only goal or, in some cases, even the principal one.” Read the entire article here:

Same-sex marriage: Supreme Court Justices don’t know much about history – LA Times.

supreme-court-samesex-marriage 2015

Evidence Debunks Another Myth: “The Real Reason Richer People Marry” – NYTimes.com

The sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin: “some digging into historical census records shows that social class differences in marriage have been tied to the extent of income inequality among white Americans for at least 130 years. They also suggest that commentators who insist that the marriage gap is wholly a matter of values are almost surely wrong.”

The Real Reason Richer People Marry – NYTimes.com.

labor-love-lost book cover