Stanley v. Georgia (1969)

The U.S. Supreme Court's most famous abortion decision, Roe v. Wade (1973), as well as its companion case out of Georgia, Doe v. Bolton (1973), focused on the proper contours of the substantive protection of liberty enforceable against states afforded by the "due process" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. An earlier decision concerning this same subject, though in a very different context, came in Stanley v. Georgia (1969).
In the Stanley case the Court held that an individual has a constitutional right to possess obscene materials within the home even though obscenity does not ordinarily enjoy protection under the First Amendment's "free speech" and "free press" clauses. In an opinion by Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Court declared that "fundamental is the right to be free, except in very limited circumstances, from unwanted governmental intrusions into one's privacy," particularly the"right to satisfy [one's] intellectual and emotional needs in the privacy of his own home."
Drawing on earlier decisions, the Court emphasized the "right to receive information and ideas, regardless of their social worth" and declared that the "makers of our Constitution... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone—the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized man." Cutting a channel for future legal developments, the Court also suggested that a constitutional claim of the right to privacy "takes on an added dimension" when it involves activity "in the privacy of a person's own home."
close

Loading

Cite This Article
Coenen, Dan T. "Stanley v. Georgia (1969)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 17 May 2016. Web. 23 October 2017.
From Our Home Page
Henry Hugh Proctor (1868-1933)

The Reverend Henry Hugh Proctor was the first African American pastor of First Congregational Church in Atlanta, serving from 1894 unt

Read more...
Frank Broadhurst (1925-2005)

Frank

Read more...
UGA Football
...

Read more...
Judaism and Jews

Historian Ralph Melnick has written that "nearly everything one concludes from a study of Southern Jewry has its opposite that is

Read more...
Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries