Personal Right to Privacy Essay

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The Supreme Court has ruled on many cases involving the idea that the Ninth Amendment includes a personal right to privacy. There have been many cases that discuss this issue and most of these cases agree with the popular belief that the Ninth Amendment does provide United States citizens with a right of personal privacy that should not be infringed upon. This personal right to privacy has also been engrained into American society because of these court cases. One of the first cases that the Court ruled on involving this right to privacy was Meyer v. Nebraska (1923). The Meyer case dealt with the issue of private decisions of parents and teachers to educate their children and students. The main predicament of the case was that the state of Nebraska established a law that forbade to teaching of foreign languages to students until they reached the ninth grade. The court decided that the Nebraska law was unconstitutional because there was no need for this right to be infringed upon. Justice McReynolds was quoted to say, “without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men” (Meyer v. State of Nebraska). Two years after the Meyer case, the Court ruled on a similar case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters. In this case an Oregon law said that every child must go to public school. This would then shut down all the Catholic schools in the state. The Court ruled on the same principle that Justice McReynolds had said. People should have the private choice to go to what school they want to go to
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