In Buck v. Bell, decided on May 2, 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of 8 to 1, affirmed the constitutionality of Virginia’s law allowing state-enforced sterilization. After being raised by foster parents and allegedly raped by their nephew, the appellant, Carrie Buck, was deemed feebleminded and promiscuous. In 1924, Buck was committed to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, near Lynchburg, and there ordered sterilized. The Virginia law allowing the procedure had been passed in 1924 and responded to fifty years of scholarly debate over whether certain social problems, including shiftlessness, poverty, and prostitution, were inherited and ultimately could be eliminated through selective sterilization. Looking to test the law’s legality before engaging in widespread sterilization, the colony superintendent, Albert S. Priddy, made sure his order was appealed. The Amherst County Circuit Court and the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals both ruled in the colony’s favor, and in 1927 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed. In an infamous opinion, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. noted that Carrie Buck, her mother, and her daughter were all suspected of being feebleminded, declaring, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” The opinion was never overturned and led to a marked increase in sterilizations across the United States. At the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi defendants cited Buck v. Bell in their own defense. Virginia repealed the law in 1974 and in 2002 .