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New York v. Sanger

Significance, Up From Poverty, Comstock's Law, Civilly Disobedient, The Door Is Opened


Margaret H. Sanger


State of New York

Appellant's Claim

That the Comstock Act of 1873 violated both the federal and state Constitutions; therefore Sanger was not guilty of a criminal act when she opened the first birth control clinic.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Jonah J. Goldstein

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Harry E. Lewis

Justices for the Court

William S. Andrews, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Emory A. Chase, Frederick Collin, Frederick E. Crane (writing for the court), William H. Cuddeback, Frank H. Hiscock, John W. Hogan, Cuthbert W. Pound


New York, New York

Date of Decision

8 January 1918


The lower court's guilty decision was affirmed.

Related Cases

  • United States v. One Package, 86 F.2d 737 (1936).
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
  • Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972).

Further Readings

  • Chesler, Ellen. Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America. New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1993.
  • Garrow, David J. Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade. New York: Lisa Drew Books/Macmillan, 1994.
  • Planned Parenthood. A Tradition of Choice: Planned Parenthood at 75. New York: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1991.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940