CJ 4450 Final: LS notes section 3.2

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Appalachian State University
Criminal Justice
CJ 4450
Marian Williams

Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) Issue: does the right to privacy extend to consensual sodomy in the home? USSC said no; there is not a fundamental right to engage in sodomy Also, prohibition has ancient roots, in that it has been prohibited for centuries by many societies Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Achallenge to Bowers Issue: does the right to privacy extend to consensual sodomy in the home? USSC said yes; threw out Bowers and said that adult activity, private and consensual, is protected Does the right to privacy cover the right to die? USSC first examined cases about families making decisions to pull the plug In re Quinlon (1976)(New Jersey Supreme Court set precedent) Issue: does the right to privacy cover a familys decision to pull the plug on a comatose person? NJSC said yes; the right to privacy covers refusal of medical treatment, which includes this issue Since Quinlon, many state courts followed its lead; However, some did not, and cases ended up in the USSC again Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health (1990) Issue: may the state restrict procedures on pulling the plug? USSC said yes; the state has an interest in preserving life; also, there is no guarantee that the patients wishes are the same as the familys The USSC upheld the states requirement that the family must have clear and convincing evidence of the patients wishes What about assisted suicide? Washington v. Glucksberg (1997) and Vacco v. Quill (1997) ruled that there is no privacy, due process, or equal protection interest dealing with assisted suicide In both cases, the USSC ruled that the state has an interest in: Preserving life Protecting the ethics and integrity of the medical profession Safeguarding the vulnerable from coercion Ensuring the value of life Another issue dealt with a state that allowed assisted suicide Gonzales v. Oregon (2006) Issue: is the federal governments prevention of state assisted suicide a violation of the right to privacy? USSC said yes; if a state wishes to allow assisted suicide, it has the right to do so Discussion reading 4 Equal Protection Found in the 14thAmendment, in which no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law Meant to apply to former slaves, but now applies to all Historically, was not invoked much; however, the mid 20th century saw it being used for minorities, women, and the poor, etc Not absolute; whenever a state is to discriminate against a certain group, the USSC has established a set of standards to determine if it is legitimate Rational basis test (lowest burden): someone challenging a law must show that: The purpose of the law is an illegitimate state objective The means employed by the state are not rationally related to the achievement of this objective Ex: a state trying to improve economic viability by only awarding funding to nativelocal companies Fairly easy standard to meet Applied to cases involving economic interests Strict scrutiny test (highest burden): Deals with those who belong to suspect groups: race, religion, etc; and that nay laws tat impinge on the rights of these groups must be subject to strict scrutiny
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