Month: March 2017

Buck v. Bell, Compulsory Sterilization, and the Constitution

My Country – Buck v. Bell, 274 US 200 (1927) On March 20, 1924, Virgina enacted a statute providing for the sexual sterilization of inmates found to have hereditary forms of insanity or “imbecility.” Carrie Buck The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded opened in 1910. Although the Virginia Colony began sterilization procedures before the law “for the relief …

Workers’ Compensation, the Wainwright Commission, and Negligence

Workers' Compensation

My Country – Workers’ Compensation On March 19, 1910, personal injury lawyers got a new tort to litigate in New York. The Wainwright Commission reported to the New York legislature about work-related industrial accidents. The commission sought to explain that the common law remedies for workplace injuries were insufficient. First, the commission rejected the theory that …

The Speech and Debate Clause, Kilbourn v Thompson, and Rep. Steve King

My Country – Speech and Debate Clause After the imprisonments of Sir John Elliot and Peter Wentworth in the Tower of London, our Founding Fathers took Congressional immunity into account. The Constitution states that “for any Speech or Debate in either House, [senators and representatives] shall not be questioned in any other place.” The phrase has …

Religious Test for Public Office, Torcaso v. Watkins, and Get Out

Religious test

My Country – A Religious Test for Public Office The Constitution provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the United States.” But Justice Douglas notes that in 1776, many states had religious tests. Pre-Constitution Religious Test The Pennsylvania Constitution required each legislator to …