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Court throws out ‘mental retardation’

The U.S. Supreme Court has officially thrown out the term “mental retardation” from its opinions. In a little-noticed move, the court deemed the term outdated and inappropriate last week when deciding the case Hall v. Florida, which struck down Florida’s method for determining whether a death row inmate with an intellectual disability should be executed.

In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “Previous opinions of this court have employed the term ‘mental retardation.’ This opinion uses the term ‘intellectual disability’ to describe the identical phenomenon.” Read more.