10+questions+-+disability+rights+2-8-5 - POLITICAL SCIENCE...

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POLITICAL SCIENCE 489 - Section 1 Q UESTIONS T O C ONSIDER DISABILITY ADVOCACY S EPTEMBER , 2009 1. In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell , referred to a person with a congenital mental disability as "feeble minded." In 1985, the Cleburne Court described an individual with mental disability as "mentally retarded." In 1999, the Court in Olmstead used the term "mentally disabled." Do you think the progression of terminology -- from "feeble minded” to “mentally retarded” to “mentally disabled" -- indicates the Supreme Court’s effort to remain “politically correct”? Alternatively, does this progression reflect the increased scientific and sociological understanding of persons with mental disability of the Justices -- or society in general? Did the use of a pejorative like "feeble minded" in Buck v. Bell , indicate that members of Supreme Court were prejudiced from the outset? 2. In Buck v. Bell , Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated: 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
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2009 for the course POLISCI 489 taught by Professor Bernstein during the Spring '08 term at University of Michigan.

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10+questions+-+disability+rights+2-8-5 - POLITICAL SCIENCE...

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