Bounds v. Smith,
430 U.S. 817 (1977)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977)

Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977)

No. 75-915

Argued November 1, 1976

Decided April 27, 1977

430 U.S. 817


The fundamental constitutional right of access to the courts held to require prison authorities to assist inmates in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing prisoners with adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law. Younger v. Gilmore, 404 U. S. 15. Pp. 430 U. S. 821-833.

538 F.2d 541, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. POWELL, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 430 U. S. 833. BURGER, C.J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 430 U. S. 833. STEWART, J., post, p. 430 U. S. 836, and REHNQUIST, J., post, p. 430 U. S. 837, filed dissenting opinions, in which BURGER, C.J., joined.

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