CourtSpeak: Buck v. Bell Sterilization Case (1927)

Criminal Justice and Procedure Read more from
Chapter The Taft Court (1921–30)

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (majority): “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”


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