Book Discussion: Imbeciles - the Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, by Adam Cohen

Tuesday, June 25, 2019: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Join the LA Law Library book discussion group as we explore the theme of "Women and the Law" with a discussion of Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, by Adam Cohen. Imbiciles tells the story of the United States Supreme Court's infamous 1927 Buck v Bell decision that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the "unfit", including the intellectually disabled, "for the protection and health of the state" did not violate the due process clause of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. The 8-1 decision allowed the sterilization of a young woman it thought to be "feebleminded" and supported the mass eugenic sterilization of "undesirable citizens" for the greater good of the country. Some of the most revered figures in American law participated in the decision, including Chief Justice William Howard Taft (former U.S. President), Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered by many to be the greatest Supreme Court justice in history. Holmes wrote the majority opinion which concluded with the infamous statement "three generations of imbeciles are enough." The Supreme Court has never expressly overruled the case.

Presented by: Katie O'Laughlin, Managing Librarian, LA Law Library

Registration Fee: FREE
Register today to reserve your seat!
The first 10 registrants will be eligible to receive a complimentary copy of Imbeciles, courtesy of Penguin Random House.

LA Law Library does not provide legal advice:
LA Law Library does not provide legal advice. LA Law Library provides legal resources and assistance with legal research as an educational service. The information presented in this program is not legal advice and is provided solely as an educational service to our patrons. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.

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