Talk:Buck v. Bell

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Statutory Authority for Additional Sterilizations?[edit]

This article does not adequately explain the fact that Carrie Bell's mother (54) and daughter (3) and sister were also sterilized as a consequence of this Supreme Court decision. Given that Virginia's "Sterilization Act" only gave authority for sterilizing inmates of state institutions, how were Bell's mother, daughter and sister also compelled to be sterilized? -- Cadwallader 02:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Is it because they were in a mental facility? Jmatthew3 14:06, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Mental age of 8?[edit]

Who is the authority for saying that "Buck's mother ...[had] a mental age of 8"? I know the lawyers alleged this, but it there any authority beyond that? Our article currently states it as fact. -- Jmabel 21:51, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Good point, didn't realize that had come off that way (the "claimed Priddy" was supposed to be for the whole statement, not just the criminal record). It's according to the Colony superintendent, that's all. I restructured the sentence a bit, hopefully that makes it more clear. --Fastfission 02:02, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Mental age" in further life[edit]

I assume there must have been subsequent examinations of her IQ or "mental age" or whatever - I wonder how they turned out? ( 18:51, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC))

I have not heard of any follow-ups on Carrie Buck except those done by journalists in the early 1980s (one is noted in Stephen J. Gould's epilogue to The Mismeasure of Man, who says that both Carrie and her sister Doris, also sterilized, were "able and intelligent"). One (I think in Kevles' In the name of eugenics, but maybe from somewhere else) I have seen said she enjoyed crossword puzzles. Personally I find none of this terribly convincing about her intelligence one way or the other, but I find the issue of her actual intelligence to be very, very minor in the scope of the case as a whole, which was a pretty clear miscarriage of justice when seen through a historical lens (rigged defense, expert testimony from cranks, and the entire circumstances being misrepresented), though by the time it reached the Supreme Court all of that was too late to have been sorted out (the Supreme Court generally does not do fact-finding in regards to the original case; they take for granted that the facts agreed upon in the previous trials were validated or previously challenged if need be, and such was clearly not the case in this instance). --Fastfission 05:18, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Irving Whitehead Misrepresented[edit]

The article states that: "Carrie's lawyer, Irving Whitehead, poorly argued her case, failed to call important witnesses, and was remarked by commentators to often not know what side he was on." In appellate advocacy (such as arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court) witnesses are not called, as they would be in a trial. No testimony is given and no evidence of any kind is entered. It is understood that the facts were established at trial, and not disputed by the parties.

The wording was just a little out of order. He wasn't misrepresented; that just refers to the earlier part of the trial, before it reached the Supreme Court. --Fastfission 03:33, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Paragraph on Irving Whitehead[edit]

I have removed the following passage because it is a condemnation (thus potentially controversial) of a historical figure without any citation.

"Buck's lawyer, Irving Whitehead, poorly argued her case, failed to call important witnesses, and was remarked by commentators to often not know what side he was on. It is now thought that this was not because of incompetence, but deliberate. Whitehead had close connections both to the counsel for the institution, and Priddy himself. He was also a member of the governing board of the state institution in which Buck resided, and had personally authorized Priddy's sterilization requests and was a strong supporter of eugenic sterilization."

Cite and return if you'd like, but you can't just throw down historical accusations without reference. BullzeyeComplaint Dept./Contribs) 21:04, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

That specifically came from a documentary. I do not remember the name, but the citation is out there if someone is willing to search for it

It's in the Lombardo article. -- (talk) 01:33, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

What does 'avid reader' mean and where did it come from?[edit]

This page says Carrie Buck was an avid reader until 1983 without attribution or explaination; the sentence makes no sense. It also says that Vivian was on the honor roll without attribution, or explaination why she did not continue schooling if successful. 01:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Adding Redirect[edit]

Sorry I'm new here, but has any one thought it worth while to include redirects for court cases when some types in "vs" or "verses" instead of just "v."?--Waxsin 20:47, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Hey guy, the ct system only accepts v. to place vs and verses redirects on all the cases doesnt need to be done. Ppl just need to know that the v. is the way to go


There was one dissenting opinion. anyone know what that was about? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


Why did the Court grant certiorari if it was such a slam dunk? -- Y not? 23:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

File:James H Bell.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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Holmes a Progressive? Reform Darwinist?[edit]

Regarding this material, added by Kckranger, I have two comments:

  1. I think that in order to describe Holmes as "progressive," especially in the strong sense of piping a link to progressivism, we need a source. Sure, "progressives" of some sort like Holmes. Was he a progressive? It's not clear without a source. He certainly wasn't being so progressive when he voted to uphold the espionage act in Schenk. alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 17:03, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Sure. Well a quick google search will probably produce more sources than you'd care for, but to your broader question. Holmes is considered the central figurehead of the Progressive Movement in that time period for a host of reasons. Some lesser reasons, like Manus mentions below include his support of eugenics, which is applicable to this specific topic. However more broadly to your overall point we would look at the things Holmes caused to become Constitutional through his opinions that previously hadn't been. One example is the formalization of judicial restraint, which was a central thing Progressives were agitating for at the time. Another is Holmes' impact as the Justice who eradicated judicial reasoning based on natural law. This second point goes broadly to the Progressive idea that society is a living organism constantly evolving. As such one underlying theme in Holmes' rulings, and more broadly in the Progressive movement in general, was that government base decisions on social advantage. This was a marked departure from the Classic Liberal belief that government existed to protect certain inalienable rights. One source, although I don't have it handy at the moment to cite specific pages although I could add the overall source is "Capitalism, Democracy, and the Supreme Court" by Wallace Mendelson. User:kckranger 17:32, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  1. What in the world is "Reform Darwinist," and how does this article benefit from adding it as a modifier to "negative eugenics"?

alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 17:03, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, Eugenics and Social Darwinism were progressive movements in the 1920s context, User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:31, 7 February 2014 (UTC)so the two are not contradictory, but I do agree that a source would be required.
Reform Darwinism was a contrary school of thought that opposed Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism was generally the belief that society ought to be able to evolve naturally on its own. Reform Darwinism was the belief that government need to mold society in order to make the kind of world we want to live in. Eugenicists and the early racial sociologists & ethicists like EA Ross were Reform Darwinists, and for example it was this specific group that the Nazis carried on written correspondence with early in that regime. User:kckranger 17:32, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I see. That makes sense, and this source from the article on social darwinism backs that up for the eugenics thing. Maybe let's put that back in with a wikilink to the appropriate section of Social Darwinism? But I think calling Holmes a progressive requires a separate source. I think it's more complex than that. Is what's important about that part the fact that eugenics was generally associated with the progressive movement? If so, I think that's more easily sourceable and can find some way in.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 20:52, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Paul Lombardo[edit]

I added the citation needed at the end of the Paul Lombardo paragraph. It was clear if the last two sentences were from Lombardo's piece. The other two statements in the paragraph appear to be. Shilpanicodemus (talk) 18:42, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

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