For the second annual Columbia Law School Summer Reading series, the Class of 2022 was invited to read Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen. Imbeciles recounts the legal history of the American eugenics movement through the story of Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in Buck v. Bell. In a decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, whose opinions you will read frequently throughout 1L, the Supreme Court ruled that forced sterilization of those deemed to be “imbeciles” did not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Buck v. Bell has never been overturned.
This fall, Social Justice Initiatives (SJI), in collaboration with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), will host a book discussion with author Adam Cohen, which will be moderated by Professor Jamal Greene. The discussion will be followed by an informal reception where you will have a chance to meet and talk to faculty, SJI representatives, and other public interest students.
Please click HERE to let us know if you will be reading Imbeciles with us this summer and would like to join us for the book discussion and reception. Happy reading!
Borrow Imbeciles from the Law School Library or other Columbia University Library or the New York Public Library
Hosted by SJI, BLSA, and NLG. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options will be provided at the reception. For other dietary concerns, please contact Diana Pedi at least three business days before the event.