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Skinner v. Oklahoma

Significance, Oklahoma Prisoner Sterilization, Marriage And Procreation Rights, Impact, Further Readings


Arthur Skinner


State of Oklahoma

Petitioner's Claim

That a state law authorizing sterilization of selected felons held in the Oklahoma penitentiary violates the Fourteenth Amendment's due process of law guarantee.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

W. J. Hulsey, H. I. Aston, Guy L. Andrews

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Mac Q. Williamson, Attorney General of Oklahoma

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, James Francis Byrnes, William O. Douglas (writing for the Court), Felix Frankfurter, Robert H. Jackson, Frank Murphy, Stanley Forman Reed, Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

6 May 1942


Unanimously upheld Skinner's claim and overturned two lower courts' decisions holding that he was a suitable vasectomy candidate.

Related Cases

  • Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927).
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
  • Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).
  • Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
  • Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).
  • Romer v. Evans, 116 S. Ct. 1620 (1996).
  • Kass v. Kass, 91 NY 2nd 554 (1998).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953