Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)
Over on his blog, Will Shetterly asks for some Supreme Court precedents that may have escaped Sarah Palin's attention. This one illustrates how far UU views of the differently abled and sexually active have evolved in less than a century.
“The attack is not upon the procedure but upon the substantive law. It seems to be contended that in no circumstances could such an order be justified. It certainty is contended that the order cannot be justified upon the existing grounds. The judgment finds the facts that have been recited and that Carrie Buck ‘is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization,’ and thereupon makes the order. In view of the general declarations of the Legislature and the specific findings of the Court obviously we cannot say as matter of law that the grounds do not exist, and if they exist they justify the result. We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the state for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. 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 tube....Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
--Famous UU and US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., writing for the Court