Civics 101: Privacy Rights – What Does History Tell Us?
What can Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) cases teach us about civics and our rights to privacy in our homes, schools, and in our private lives? A new series from New Hampshire Public Radio’s Civics 101 podcast explores four past SCOTUS cases to reveal how certain rights and freedoms have been interpreted over time.
Beginning February 23, Civics 101 will launch four episodes exploring the following cases:
· Mapp v. Ohio
· Griswold v. Connecticut
· New Jersey v. T. L. O.
· Roe v. Wade
The first episode delves into the 1961 case Mapp v. Ohio, in which Dollree Mapp, a young Ohioan woman, was convicted of possessing obscene materials after police conducted an illegal search of her home. The Supreme Court ruled that evidence seized without a search warrant could not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts. The Civics 101 episode explains why this is an important landmark case in the realm of personal privacy.
The second episode details the landmark decision in a New England-based case, Griswold v. Connecticut. The 1965 case struck down a Connecticut law that banned married couples from buying and using contraceptives. This episode will be available for download starting Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
New Jersey v. T. L. O. centers the third episode, a 1985 case concerning students’ right to privacy in schools. The Supreme Court found that because there is a reduced expectation of privacy in public schools, school officials do not need a search warrant or probable cause to search students. The episode is available for download beginning Tuesday, March 23, 2021.
The final episode explores the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision around women’s reproductive rights. The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The episode looks at how this case has impacted decades of case law since at both the federal and state level. The final episode in the series will be available for download beginning Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
“No matter the issue, from school prayer to voting rights and healthcare, the Supreme Court plays a major part in our lives,” said Erika Janik, Civics 101’s Executive Producer. “And privacy is an important issue that doesn’t appear in the Constitution at all! So if you consider privacy a basic right, you’ve got certain Supreme Court cases to thank for that.”
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