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Poe v. Ullman

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 367 U.S. 497, 81 S. Ct. 1752, 6 L. Ed. 2d 989, 1961 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. The Appellants, several couples and their physician (Appellants), brought suit, seeking the overturn of a Connecticut statute prohibiting the use of contraceptive devices and the giving of medical advice on the use of such devices.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A penal statute is not ripe for constitutional challenge unless it is enforced by the state enacting the statute.


Facts. The Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors construed a state penal statute as prohibiting the use of contraceptive devices and the giving of medical advice on their use. Appellants included a couple who had several pregnancies result with severely abnormal progeny which died shortly after birth, a couple whose wife had experienced a severely traumatic pregnancy and their physician, who believes the safest course of treatment for the couples includes using contraceptive devices.

Issue. Is the petitioners’ claim ripe for judicial review?

Content Type: Brief


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