© 2020 | Jefferson Public Radio
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Exchange Exemplar: When The Supreme Court Spoke Of "Morons"

supreme_court_1928.jpg
Library of Congress
The justices in 1928

Even in an age of heated rhetoric, there are terms most people simply don't use anymore. 

But even the U.S. Supreme Court once subscribed to a scale of intellectual impairment that included terms like "moron," "idiot," and "imbecile."  In fact, the court once backed the state of Virginia's decision to sterilize a young woman. 

Lawyer and writer Adam Cohen wrote about the case in his book Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck.  This is a replay of our 2016 interview with Adam. 

Stay Connected
Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and marked his tenth anniversary as the full-time host of the Jefferson Exchange at the end of 2019. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for 35 years, working in both television and radio.