Poe v. Ullman - 367 U.S. 497 (1961)


U.S. Supreme Court

Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497 (1961)

Poe v. Ullman

No. 60 Argued March 1-2, 1961

Decided June 19, 1961*

367 U.S. 497

Syllabus

These are appeals from a decision of the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut affirming dismissals of complaints in three cases in which the plaintiffs sued for declaratory judgments that certain Connecticut statutes which prohibit the use of contraceptive devices and the giving of medical advice on their use violate the Fourteenth Amendment by depriving the plaintiffs of life and property without due process of law. The complaints alleged that two plaintiffs who were married women needed medical advice on the use of such devices for the protection of their health, but that a physician, who was the plaintiff in the third case, was deterred from giving such advice because the State's Attorney intended to prosecute offenses against the State's laws and he claimed that the giving of such advice and the use of such devices were forbidden by state statutes. However, it appeared that the statutes in question had been enacted in 1879, and that no one ever had been prosecuted thereunder except two doctors and a nurse, who were charged with operating a birth control clinic, and that the information against them had been dismissed after the State Supreme Court had sustained the legislation in 1940 on an appeal from a demurrer to the information.

Held: The appeals are dismissed, because the records in these cases do not present controversies justifying the adjudication of a constitutional issue. Pp. 367 U. S. 498-509.

147 Conn. 48,156 A. 2d 508, appeal dismissed.

Page 367 U. S. 498



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