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

supreme_court_1928.jpg
Library of Congress
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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. 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for over 35 years, working in both television and radio.