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Eisenstadt v. Baird

Significance, Among The Lower Courts, At The Supreme Court, Further Readings


Thomas Eisenstadt, sheriff of Suffolk County, Massachusetts


William R. Baird, Jr.

Appellant's Claim

That the lower courts erred in overturning Baird's conviction on charges of distributing contraceptives without a medical license and to unmarried people.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Joseph R. Nolan

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Joseph Balliro before the lower courts; Joseph D. Tydings before the Supreme Court

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Warren E. Burger (Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and William H. Rehnquist joined the Court too late in 1972 to participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

22 March 1972


Upheld lower court reversals of Baird's conviction and invalidated state laws restricting the use of contraceptives to married people.

Related Cases

  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1964).
  • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972