- Support or refute the Supreme Court’s ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) that the Constitution protects a right to privacy within marriage that includes the decision to use artificial birth control.
- Students will trace some of the significant events regarding women’s rights in the twentieth century, considering court cases and women’s social and economic contributions.
- Women’s Rights in the Late 20th Century Essay
- Handout A: The U.S. Constitution
- Handout B: Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Case Background
- Handout C: Document Summary Table
- Handout D: Documents on Privacy
- Handout E: Related Statute and Court Cases
- Handout F: The Issue in Images
- Handout G: Griswold v. Connecticut Majority Opinion Excerpts
- Handout H: Griswold v. Connecticut Concurring and Dissenting Opinions Excerpts
- Fourteenth Amendment
- Ninth Amendment
- Bill of Rights
- Due Process
To support students prior to beginning their analysis, the teacher will ask, “What are the two sides? What did each side want? How did each side interpret the Constitution differently? How might different interpretations of specific, critical phrases lead to different conclusions?
The teacher will guide students in a walk-through of the handouts without actually reading them at this time. Students will be instructed to skim them and consider how each may or may not prove to be related to the constitutional issues at stake in the Griswold decision.
Distribute Handout A: The United States Constitution, let students flip through it, and explain that they are to refer to this whenever a constitutional question arises in class discussion, small group work, or in individual research.
Divide the class into five groups and assign each group the task of analyzing one of the Handouts D – H.
- Group 1: Handout D: Documents on Privacy
- Group 2: Handout E: Related Statute and Court Cases
- Group 3: Handout F: The Issue in Images
- Group 4: Handout G: Griswold v. Connecticut Majority Opinion
- Group 5: Handout H: Griswold v. Connecticut Concurring and Dissenting Opinions
Distribute Handout C: Document Summary Table to help students organize their readings of their assigned documents. Each group will report their analysis of their assigned document. The teacher will lead a class discussion about women’s suffrage and how viewpoints from that movement related to issues in the Griswold case. Require that all shared opinions be based on constitutional principles.
Invite students to list some of the ways women’s lives, rights, and responsibilities were different in 1970 than they were 100 years earlier. How were their lives, rights, and responsibilities the same?
Assign a well organized well-supported essay that either supports or refutes the Supreme Court’s ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) that the Constitution protects a right to privacy within marriage and includes the decision to use artificial birth control.
Write an Essay: Women’s Rights in the Late Twentieth Century/ Handout F: The Issue in Images – Analyze the photographs representing the struggles of women over rights issues.
Women’s Rights Timeline: Put students in pairs and have them briefly explain each of these terms in relationship to women’s rights: Abolitionist Movement, Women’s Suffrage, Nineteenth Amendment, Poe v. Ullman (1961), Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Equal Rights Amendment, Roe v. Wade (1973). As a class, create a timeline of the aforementioned terms.