In The

Supreme Court of the United States

MICHAEL H. et al.



Decided June 15, 1989

Justice O’Connor, Concurring

Topic: Due Process*Court vote: 5–4
Click any Justice for detail
Joining O'Connor opinion: Justice KENNEDY Justice KENNEDY
Citation: 491 U.S. 110 Docket: 87–746Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez

* As categorized by the Washington University Law Supreme Court Database

Next opinion >< Previous opinion

DISCLAIMER: Only United States Reports are legally valid sources for Supreme Court opinions. The text below is provided for ease of access only. If you need to cite the exact text of this opinion or if you would like to view the opinions of the other Justices in this case, please view the original United States Report at the Library of Congress or Justia. The Sandra Day O'Connor Institute does not in any way represent, warrant, or guarantee that the text below is accurate."


JUSTICE O'CONNOR, with whom JUSTICE KENNEDY joins, concurring in part.

I concur in all but footnote 6 of JUSTICE SCALIA's opinion This footnote sketches a mode of historical analysis to be used when identifying liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that may be somewhat inconsistent with our past decisions in this area. See Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479 (1965); Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U. S. 438 (1972). On occasion, the Court has characterized relevant traditions protecting asserted rights at levels of generality that might not be "the most specific level" available. Ante at 491 U. S. 127 -128, n. 6. See Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); Turner v. Safley, 482 U. S. 78, 94 (1987); cf. United States v. Stanley, 483 U. S. 669, 709 (1987) (O'CONNOR, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). I would not foreclose the unanticipated by the prior imposition of a single mode of historical analysis. Poe v. Ullman, 367 U. S. 497, 367 U. S. 542, 367 U. S. 544 (1961) (Harlan, J., dissenting).

Supreme Court icon marking end of opinion

Header photo: United States Supreme Court. Credit: Patrick McKay / Flickr - CC.