Decided: Skinner v. Oklahoma— The Supreme Court rules unanimously to strike down an Oklahoma law providing for the sterilization of people found to be "habitual criminals."
The Court's decision is based on idea that all people have a fundamental right to make their own choices about marriage and procreation.
The Court decision says:
"We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.
The power to sterilize, if exercised, may have subtle, far-reaching and devastating effects. In evil or reckless hands it can cause races or types which are inimical to the dominant group to wither and disappear.
There is no redemption for the individual whom the law touches. Any experiment which the State conducts is to his irreparable injury. He is forever deprived of a basic liberty."
Read More: Skinner v. Oklahoma