Statutes and ordinances implementing plans to add fluorides to the public
water supply have been suffered numerous attacks in courts around the nation.
These attacks include, but are not limited to, allegations that fluoridation
measures are impermissible exercises of a state’s police power or are
violations of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of choice and freedom of
religion. Due to wide societal acceptance of fluoridation’s scientifically proven
benefits and the wide authority granted to the states by the United States
Constitution to promote the public welfare of their citizens, the overwhelming
majority of these attacks have failed. (See 43 A.L.R.2d 453 for an overview of
all relevant case law). Yet, despite the clear legal authority supporting the
fluoridation of water, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the issue.
Government entities seeking to implement these plans for the purpose of
preventing the widespread occurrence of tooth decay among citizens often face
substantial opposition from the public. However, it is clear that the principles
embodied in the Constitution demand that state action taken for the purpose
of protecting the public should not be disturbed unless the reviewing court
determines such action is unreasonable or an abuse of discretion. A brief
review of the fluoridation cases reveals that the attacks made upon
fluoridation implementation plans recycle the same theories, and that courts
have answered these attacks with marked similarity.