Barrett Speaks on Reproductive Rights, Justice Jackson, & Skinner—at Georgetown & on C-SPAN


On June 1, 2022, the 80th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Skinner v. OklahomaProfessor John Q. Barrett participated in a panel at Georgetown University Law Center on “The Unknown History of Reproductive Rights & Eugenics: From Skinner to Roe.”

In Skinner, the Supreme Court unanimously declared unconstitutional an Oklahoma law that provided for the sterilization of some thrice-convicted “habitual criminals.” Jack Skinner, a state prison inmate, won a decision that protected his reproductive capability and autonomy. The decision became an important starting point for constitutional law doctrines that protect individuals from government regulations and penalties in the areas of contraception, abortion, private intimacy, and other fundamental rights.

Professor Barrett spoke about Justice Robert H. Jackson’s concurring opinion in the case.

The panel is available here on C-SPAN.  Professor Barrett’s lecture begins at time counter reading 21:20.