This subject was recently reviewed by an attorney who prefers to remain anonymous.
We have few scientifically certain criteria of legislation, and as it often is difficult to mark the line where what is called the police power of the states is limited by the Constitution of the United States, judges should be slow to read into the latter a nolumus mutare as against the lawmaking power. Noble State Bank v. Haskell, 219 U.S. 104, 110 (1911)
To be able to find fault with a law is not to demonstrate its invalidity. It may seem unjust and oppressive, yet be free from judicial interference. The problems of government are practical ones and may justify, if they do not require, rough accommodations,-illogical, it may be, and unscientific. But even such criticism should not be hastily expressed. What is best is not always discernible; the wisdom of any choice may be disputed or condemned. Mere errors of government are not subject to our judicial review. It is only its palpably arbitrary exercises which can be declared void under the 14 Amendment; and such judgment cannot be pronounced of the ordinance in controversy.Metropolis Theater Co. V. City of Chicago, 228 U.S. 61 (1913)
Although there is no conclusive proof of a connection between antisocial behavior and obscene material, the legislature of Georgia could quite reasonably determine that such a connection does or might exist. In deciding Roth, this Court implicitly accepted that a legislature could legitimately act on such a conclusion to protect "the social interest in order and morality." Roth v. United States, 354 U.S., at 485
We do not demand of legislatures `scientifically certain criteria of legislation. (Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629, 642 -643 (1968))
But, it is argued, there are no scientific data which conclusively demonstrate that exposure to obscene material adversely affects men and women or their society. It is urged on behalf of the petitioners that, absent such a demonstration, any kind of state regulation is "impermissible." We reject this argument. It is not for us to resolve empirical uncertainties underlying state legislation, save in the exceptional case where that legislation plainly impinges upon rights protected by the Constitution itself. (PARIS ADULT THEATRE I v. SLATON, 413 U.S. 49 (1973))
." Although there is no conclusive proof of a connection between antisocial behavior and obscene material, the legislature of Georgia could quite reasonably determine that such a connection does or might exist. In deciding Roth, this Court implicitly accepted that a legislature could legitimately act on such a conclusion to protect "the social interest in order and morality." Roth v. United States, 354 U.S., at 485
These anti-scientific views are obsolete, given our changing values.
Here are counter examples. Rejecting scientific racism as unscientific,
Whatever may have been the extent of psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy v. Ferguson, this finding is amply supported by modern authority. 11 Any language [347 U.S. 483, 495]in Plessy v. Ferguson contrary to this finding is rejected. [Ref 11 is K. B. Clark, Effect of Prejudice and Discrimination on Personality Development (Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth, 1950); Witmer and Kotinsky, Personality in the Making (1952), c. VI; Deutscher and Chein, The Psychological Effects of Enforced Segregation: A Survey of Social Science Opinion, 26 J. Psychol. 259 (1948); Chein, What are the Psychological Effects of [347 U.S. 483, 495] Segregation Under Conditions of Equal Facilities?, 3 Int. J. Opinion and Attitude Res. 229 (1949); Brameld, Educational Costs, in Discrimination and National Welfare (MacIver, ed., (1949), 44-48; Frazier, The Negro in the United States (1949), 674-681. And see generally Myrdal, An American Dilemma (1944).] BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area Sch. Dist., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707, 727 (M.D. Pa. 2005)
Substantial scientific uncertainties limit our ability to assess each of these factors and to separate out those changes resulting from natural variability from those that are directly the result of increases in anthropogenic GHGs. MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL. 549 U.S. 497 (2007)
2 years ago