Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: May 2, 1927

|

5/2/1927: Buck v. Bell decided.

NEXT: "The Right to Bear Arms" by Stephen Halbrook: Book Review

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Weakened by the ADA, but still the law of the land. Holmes has never been wrong. An article proved his support for felony murder did not prevent crime. I found a math error. It does prevent crime. Prof ignored me. Holmes did attend Harvard Law. He was not a bookworm. He was a mature war hero who had suffered.

  2. The Notth Carolina Supreme Court’s 1976 In Re Sterilization of Moore decision interpreted Row v. Wade as reaffirming it.

    Moore’s reading of Roe was that the newly-minted right of individual parents to prevent unwanted breeding only reaffirms and reinforces the pre-existing right of the state as parens patriae to do so.

    https://law.justia.com/cases/north-carolina/supreme-court/1976/72-1-1.html

  3. I’m surprised it hasn’t been overruled yet, though I suppose it’s a good thing that nothing has arose to the level that would require a formal overruling.

    God this opinion was awful.

    It’s weird really … growing up I went to a specialized high school and most of the students there were smart and fairly liberal (I was more conservative) but they all strongly supported eugenics as a concept.

    Which is kinda troubling? I think, given all the stuff on race over the past few years, they probably changed? Or more likely, they muted themselves on this issue, adopted the orthodoxy regarding race, and kept views on eugenics when race isn’t involved.

    Its just a common thing with a lot of high educated generally liberal (though I suppose political alignment has less to do with it) people I suppose, and idk how I feel about it.

    I suppose it isnt wrong to say, support a pro-natalist policy (I generally do) and I guess the natural next step for someone logically inclined is, why not support pro-natalism for some and not others? Which is an effective argument. I dont like it because of … frankly religious … respect for people as more than a bundle of genes and everyone has potential.

    I dont know if that’s a good reason. I do know that historically a lot of smart people have believed in stupid things for smart reasons and a lot of stupid people have believed in smart things for stupid reasons. I think of myself as bright but I am willing to acknowledge I dont have the best reasons for opposing eugenics other than its wrong. And that doesn’t mean I’m wrong about that.

    1. Al, was your high school in NYC, which borough. Feminism and birth control was openly racist about its eugenics aims. They have been very effective at killing 100 times more blacks than the KKK.

      Any thoughts on CRISPR and dial a baby? We will need talent to get dialed in to hope to not be replaced by AI. In talent, the product comes out of nowhere, cannot be explained nor predited. It is not intelligence. Examples are a mature symphony at 6, theory of relativity from no data, a 0.500 batting average. We are going to need that from every baby to survive. Of course, the lawyer d-word is crushing that effort for now.

      1. I lived in NJ, so Bergen County. The school should be pretty obvious from there.

        1. Bergen County, once the unattainable dream.

    2. “It’s weird really … growing up I went to a specialized high school and most of the students there were smart and fairly liberal (I was more conservative) but they all strongly supported eugenics as a concept.“

      I don’t believe you for a minute.

  4. If it hadn’t been for the Nazis coming along and ruining the cause, sterilization of undesirable races would now be openly embraced by the Republican Party.

    1. Yes, because historically it was Republicans who supported these causes … except, oh shit, it wasn’t!

      And I know way to many liberals who openly support eugenics so idk wtf you are talking about.

      And I can continue this trend with the USSR … I mean, are you at all capable of analyzing any issue without being a political hack?

      1. It was the Nazis that provided a stark example of the real morality at play behind the concept.

        I’d be interested in seeing which party has more support for eugenics concepts these days. Certainly this blog’s commentariat loves them some The Bell Curve.
        Which is, I know, crazy for the party of individuality. But I don’t think either party is what they say they are anymore.

        1. Certainly this blog’s commentariat loves them some The Bell Curve.

          As someone who actually read The Bell Curve for myself rather than simply consuming catty soundbites and thought-free characterizations of it, I’d be fascinated to hear more about what you think the book said about eugenics. Thanks as always.

          1. I also read it. It made sense…until I listened to what other people said about it.
            It argues South African blacks are a great sample because they’re free from experiencing racism.

            I’d be interested in how you miss the connection between arguing that IQ has a genetic – and racial – component and eugenics.

            1. IQ testing is designed to predict educational attainment. The Japanese IQ in 1945 was 100. In 1965, it was 110. Their gene pool did not change after the war. Their emphasis and effort for education changed. I am going to bet the IQ of African immigrants with very dark skins is the same or higher than that of American whites. Their economic performance was superior in the 2010 Census, and they are much sought after by employers and by admissions officials.

              The Education Law bar destroyed our schools. Bastardy will sink a child. Those are the causes of the Bell Curve findings.

            2. I also read it. It made sense…until I listened to what other people said about it.

              So it made sense until other people told you it shouldn’t make sense. Ouch.

              It argues South African blacks are a great sample because they’re free from experiencing racism.

              You’re just proving my point (and calling into question whether you’ve actually read the book). First, it was Africa in general, not South Africa. Second, he raised it as a hypothesis made by others: “This question often arises in the context of black-white comparisons in America, the thought being that the African black population has not been subjected to the historical legacy of American black slavery and discrimination and might therefore have higher scores.” He then walked through some studies and concluded: “For our purposes, the main point is that the hypothesis about the special circumstances of American blacks depressing their test scores is not substantiated by the African data.”

              Feel free to (re)read it yourself here.

              I’d be interested in how you miss the connection between arguing that IQ has a genetic – and racial – component and eugenics.

              The same reason I see no connection between eugenics and the observation that there’s a distribution of IQ scores among all of humanity. The only ones who feel that sort of objective observation should lead to perverse action are eugenicists, which I am not. And there’s not a shred of evidence that Charles Murray is either — as far as I can tell, that fiction arose purely from the braying of people who didn’t care to engage him on the merits.

              1. No, literacy rates in South Africa are absolutely discussed in that book, and include why it’s a racism-free comparison between whites and blacks.

                So you believe all the things eugenics supporters believe, but wouldn’t take the actions they advocated for,
                That is not the distinction you take it for.

                1. No, literacy rates in South Africa are absolutely discussed in that book, and include why it’s a racism-free comparison between whites and blacks.

                  You are talking directly out of your nether regions. “South Africa” appears exactly once, referring to one of the studies in the section I discussed above, and has nothing to do with literacy. “Literate,” “literacy,” and their variations appear exactly 12 times in the book, and none have anything to do with South Africa.

                  I gave you the link to a copy of the entire text of the book. Feel free to quote the exact language you claim to be in it. I’ll wait.

                  So you believe all the things eugenics supporters believe

                  Ah, there’s my favorite sad little troll. I should have known you had no desire whatsoever to have a calm, rational discussion.

                  1. What do you disagree with that eugenic about, other than the actions they recommend?

                    1. And there’s the next sad little attempt at a distraction. Quote from the book the language you claim to exist, or retreat with your tail between your legs. Your choice seems crystal-clear at this point — prove me wrong.

                    2. No, the thing we are discussing is whether you’re a eugenicist in all but method.

                      I know you like your pedantic issues – hence demanding exact quotes. But the issue is not whether the Bell Curve is legit or not, it’s about where the new eugenicists are. And you’ve made that point pretty clear, independent of that.

                      Though you are also wrong in your defense of the book – the supposed pan-African Lynn study had more than twice as many South Africans in it’s sample as all the other countries combined. Which you would know if you did anything more than read the book and nodded approvingly.

                    3. Ah, expecting that your claim that “literacy rates in South Africa are absolutely discussed in that book” actually be true is now “pedantic.” Got it, sad little troll.

                      And your new (and equally support-free) claim — that a study quoted in the book says something that you don’t like — is an equally pathetic distraction from your original (now clearly baloney) claim concerning arguments Charles Murray made in his book.

                      So what will your NEXT attempt be to distract from all that? Can’t wait.

                  2. Not making new claims, still on that study – the one the book claims that this sample of mostly South Africans lives free from racial oppression, and so is a better sample than American blacks.

                    It’s laughable, dude.

                    Where is your support? You haven’t quoted the book once. It’s not even pedantry anymore, it’s lying in the shape of pedantry.

                    But your defense of the book makes it quite clear that you agree with eugenicists.

                    Way to go, chief.
                    I’ll leave you to your lonely defense of the indefensible.

                    1. You haven’t quoted the book once.

                      Wow, what brazen projection from the person who keeps making bullshit claims about what the book says, while steadfastly refusing to quote it.

                      Let your eyes drift upward to my post at 6:49pm, containing two quotes (cleverly surrounded by those things your grade-school teacher called quotation marks).

                      What a pathetic little troll you are.

      2. Please name a single liberal who supports eugenics.

        1. Margaret Sanger.

          1. Not good with present tense, are you?

            1. Oh, so it doesn’t count after they’re dead? Interesting. We should get word out to the people pulling down all the statutes and renaming all the buildings. Can you please get started on that with some of your spare trolling time?

              1. Krycheck_2 used present tense.
                His question was pretty clear.

                You failed to answer it.

                Do better.

                1. Aw, still trying to make a cwever lil’ point to make yourself feel better about your cut and run in the above thread, sad little troll? Do better.

                  1. Your baby talk is not making you look more like a winner.

                    Take the L.

                    Or, even better, answer Krychek_2’s challenge successfully.

      3. “And I know way to many liberals who openly support eugenics so idk wtf you are talking about.”

        I don’t believe you for a minute.

        Names, please?

    2. “If it hadn’t been for the Nazis coming along and ruining the cause, sterilization of undesirable races would now be openly embraced by the Republican Party.”

      BULLSHYTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      It was the Progressive Democrats of a century ago that were behind the Eugenics Movement — it was the Bible-clutching Republicans who opposed it, and after FDR finished the reorganization of the two party system, the Republicans remained exclusively opposed to this stuff.

  5. Now, nobody does. I don’t think many conservatives do either.

    But in the 1920’s, both ideologies were filled with that thinking. Justice Butler, a Catholic, dissented.

  6. Virginia has transitioned into a solid blue state now thanks to the huge influx into the Great State of Northern Virginia.

    (Psst Texas, you’re next.)

Please to post comments