But what really interests me is how long a tail these justifications have — right up to the middle of the 1970s in one case. In re Moore, a 1976 decision in the North Carolina Supreme Court, the Court quoted Buck v. Bell for the proposition that the state has an interest in preventing births of children who will be charges on the state. There was no heightened scrutiny for impositions on reproductive rights. It’s a shocking opinion, really — much better suited to the era of the 1920s then the era of modern equal protection. Mind you, this is three years after Roe — which was also cited, not for the proposition that individuals have fundamental rights to control reproductive decisions, but for the proposition that the state may regulate those decisions. (In re Moore at 102 (“The right to procreate is not absolute but is vulnerable to a certain degree of state regulation. Roe v. Wade, supra; Buck v. Bell.“)). That’s astonishing that Roe v. Wade and Buck v. Bell were cited together.
Al is shocked. He really shouldn’t be.