Blog Posts: Sterilization

SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF EUGENICS CLAIMANTS!

The Supreme Court opinion

In a unanimous ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision dismissing the constitutional challenge brought by the families of three victims of the state’s forty-year forced sterilization program whose claims under the Eugenics Compensation Act were denied in 2015.
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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. March 17, 2017 2:22 PM
Categories: Sterilization

NC Supreme Court Hears Argument on Eugenics Appeals

Elizabeth Haddix, Virginia Ingram, Mark Dorosin
On February 13, the NC Supreme Court heard oral argument in appeals brought on behalf of three individuals who were forcibly sterilized by the State under North Carolina's forty-year eugenics program.  In 2015, the Industrial Commission denied their claims for compensation based solely on the fact that they died before June 30, 2013.  The eugenics compensation program was established to "make restitution for the injustices suffered" by the State's violation of one of the most fundamental human rights--the right to privacy of one's body and to bear children.  With the help of the UNC Center for Civil Rights and pro bono attorney Ed Pressley, t​he victims' heirs appealed to the Court of Appeals as required by the Eugenics Compensation Act and other statutory provisions, arguing that the arbitrary cutoff date violates their rights to equal protection under the North Carolina Constitution. 

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Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Wed. February 15, 2017 10:30 AM
Categories: Pro Bono, Sterilization

Eugenics Victims File Additional Brief in Appeal to NC Supreme Court

On August 11, 2016, three heirs of individuals forcibly sterilized under North Carolina’s forty-year Eugenics program filed their appellees’ brief to the North Carolina Supreme Court. In February, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the heirs’ constitutional challenge to the Eugenics Compensation Act’s requirement that sterilization victims be alive on June 30, 2013 to be eligible for compensation.

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Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Fri. August 12, 2016 4:23 PM
Categories: Race Discrimination, Sterilization

Eugenics Victims File Brief in Appeal to NC Supreme Court

On July 11, 2016, three heirs of individuals forcibly sterilized under North Carolina’s forty-year eugenics program filed a brief in their appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court, continuing their effort to obtain restitution for the injustices their families suffered at the hands of the State Eugenics Board.

These family members of the victims of the state’s forced sterilization program have been denied restitution because of the Eugenics Compensation Act’s so-called “living victim threshold,” which requires that sterilization victims be alive on June 30, 2013 to be eligible for compensation. In February, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the appellants’ constitutional challenge to the living victim threshold. Instead, the court held that the appellants must begin the process all over again and present their constitutional claim to a three-judge panel convened in Wake County Superior Court.


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Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Tue. July 19, 2016 4:00 PM
Categories: Race Discrimination, Sterilization

NC Court of Appeals Rules in Eugenics Cases

On February 16, 2016, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the consolidated appeals of three victims of the state’s more than forty-year forced sterilization eugenics program. Those appeals challenged as unconstitutional the Eugenics Compensation Act’s requirement that a victim be alive on June 30, 2013, to be eligible for compensation. Compensation was meant to be “restitution” for the injustices suffered under the state’s eugenics policy, which left more than 7,600 people — disproportionately non-white women — unable to conceive or bear children. The appellants, through their counsel at the Center for Civil Rights and pro bono lawyer Ed Pressley of Statesville, argued that the State had no legitimate basis to deny restitution to a victim’s heirs because the victim died before June 30, 2013 while granting it to heirs of a victim alive on that day.

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Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Wed. February 17, 2016 1:00 PM
Categories: Race Discrimination, Sterilization

Eugenics Compensation "No Record" Case Argued at the NC Court of Appeals

On Monday, November 30, the North Carolina Court of Appeals heard argument in one of eighteen remaining eugenics compensation appeals, which can be divided into two groups.  The first, argued by the Center’s Elizabeth Haddix and pro bono team member Ed Pressly on November 16, challenged the restitution program’s exclusion of eugenics victims who died before June 30, 2013 under the state constitution’s equal protection guarantee.  The second consists of the “no record” appeals, which seek to vindicate the rights of victims who were sterilized by the State, but have no records to confirm they were sterilized under the authority of the Eugenics Board of North Carolina.

Bob Bollinger, a leading member of the Center’s pro bono team in Charlotte, represents four eugenics clients in their no records appeals and argued on behalf of one sterilization victim on Monday.  Read Mr. Bollinger's brief here and the State's brief here.


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Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Thu. December 3, 2015 11:47 AM
Categories: Pro Bono, Sterilization

Eugenics Compensation Case Argued at the NC Court of Appeals

Eugenics victim with attorneys
Following the November 16, 2015 Court of Appeals argument, Elizabeth Haddix, pro bono Statesville attorney Ed Pressly, and Mark Dorosin talk with one of their clients, whose mother was forcibly sterilized by the state.  Watch Attorney Elizabeth Haddix's oral argument.

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Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Tue. November 17, 2015 3:19 PM
Categories: Sterilization

Oral Argument in Eugenics Compensation Cases

The state of North Carolina forcibly sterilized more than 7,600 people through its over 40- year long eugenics program that did not end until the mid-1970s. On October 16, 2015, the Court of Appeals will hear the consolidated cases of three victims whom the State excluded from the compensation program because they died before June 30, 2013.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Thu. November 12, 2015 8:55 AM
Categories: Pro Bono, Race Discrimination, Sterilization

Center Assists Eugenics Victims in Struggle for Compensation

The Center represents heirs of just a few of the thousands of victims of North Carolina's Eugenics policy in three appeals challenging the Eugenics Compensation Program's arbitrary exclusion of victims who died before June 30, 2013. These appeals all challenge the "living victim threshold" as a violation of equal protection under our state constitution. The Center is co-counseling on two of the cases with pro bono counsel Ed Pressly of Pressly, Thomas & Conley, PA of Statesville, NC. The Center recently submitted a brief (PDF) to the NC Court of Appeals regarding the exclusion of a victim who died prior to 2013.


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Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. September 4, 2015 11:13 AM
Categories: Sterilization

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