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The Right of Privacy is one of the broadest yet most controversial rights we have, but it is not specifically in the U.S. constitution. There are however, a few Amendments that are the key to defining the right of privacy with the most important consisting of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and the 14th. Cases taken to the Supreme Court are also a substantial part of the Right of Privacy in a more specific way in which the highest courts of the United States decide upon the most controversial cases. There are many topics that come with the Right of Privacy such as abortion, religion, sex, sexuality, unlawful searches and medical decisions. These topics can lead to endless debates and every individual will have their personal opinions on them.
The First Amendment of the U.S. constitution addresses basic individual rights such as freedom of the press, speech, religion and peacefully complaining to or asking for assistance from the Government without worry of consequences for doing so. It covers most topics in the Bill of Rights and is essential to any individual’s liberty in the United States. The First Amendment shapes what the rest of the Bill of Rights purpose is. An Amendment that favors the public and is the deciding factor in a lot of court cases is the Fourth. This amendment states that unreasonable search and seizures without a warrant or probable cause cannot be made.
It is simple and much more specific than the other amendments but is definitely one of the most significant. Similar to the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment protects a defendant from any abusive power the government may try to use in a legal process. One more Amendment that can easily be argued as the most important is the Ninth. It reserves the people’s rights in the event that these rights are not written in the U.S. Constitution. What make up and justify these “Unenumerated Rights” are history, language in the Constitution, and previous cases.
The amendment that is vital to the Right of Privacy is the Fourteenth. In summation this amendment gives no permission to any states to take liberty, life or property from any person without a legal process proving a law was broken. The Fourteenth Amendment is the broad foundation of this right and without it; arguments for or against our limitations would be unjustifiable. The keys to making the this Amendment work are the vast number of cases that have been brought into the public’s eyes since it was adopted on July 9th, 1868. With so many different circumstances judged by different courts from civil cases, to ones concluded by the Supreme Court it narrowed down what our Rights of Privacy really are. Often other Amendments, specifically in the Bill Of Rights, have been looked back at and revised because of the controversy and valid reasoning that the Fourteenth created.
In 1965 Estelle Griswold opened a case against the state of Connecticut. She believed the use of drugs or devices that stopped conception should be legalized. The argument that stood out in the case is that putting boundaries on whether an individual wants to have sex without worrying about pregnancy is interfering with their privacy.
The decision of the “Griswold Vs. Connecticut” case was eventually in the hands of the Supreme Court, gaining massive public attention. The state could not come up with an argument that justified why a couple was not able to decide how many children they would have together. Marital privacy is in the Bill of Rights and this was enough for the judges to make that decision. In our society now, this case’s importance is self explanatory and played a substantial role in arguably the most significant case of the Right of Privacy in “Roe Vs. Wade”.
The sensitive topic of abortion was brought to the Supreme Court’s attention in the one of the most important cases of the Right of Privacy being the “Roe Vs. Wade” decision. Before this case was resolved there were many instances where pregnant women wouldn’t be able to legally get an abortion so they took drastic measures and illegal, extremely dangerous procedures, which to them was their only viable option. The judges took two things into consideration while reviewing this case, protecting what could be a human life, and the mother’s health. After 1 year and 1 month of debate the judges of the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the law does not have the authority to decide whether a woman wanted to abort her baby before their first trimester of birth, granted her physician’s permission. Not only did this case address the elephant in the room, which was abortion, but also what moral and religious views have in politics.
Never will everyone agree on all of the same Rights of Privacy, not even the government can create specific laws giving us our exact limits of privacy. The Rights of Privacy aren’t specifically stated, or even completely understood this is why court cases establish more clarity than some Amendments can. Trials that have already been decided help shape our understanding of these rights but there is still a fine line between what is legal and what is morally acceptable when it comes to this topic. The Right of Privacy is peace of mind that a person can feel safe and not necessarily secretive with what they do, but protected to a certain extent. If a person’s actions do not concern the public’s interest, then they should rightfully be kept private. Not only is it a basic human right but is also a necessity in life.