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Dred Scott decision still haunts country, professor says (Mega Barf Alert)
Austin American Statesman ^ | 3/31/06 | Paul Thissen

Posted on 03/31/2006 7:20:24 AM PST by Cat loving Texan

Analysis of an almost-150-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision — the Dred Scott case — is important because it helps answer a contemporary question, said Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy: "Why are black people so angry?"

Part of the answer is the racism inherent in the foundation of our government, he said, and it's not a historical artifact.

"Do we still live in a pigmentocracy? Yeah, we live in a pigmentocracy," Kennedy said Thursday night. "Until it is a (case) that one can read and feel that it is repudiated, it will continue to have . . . a certain potency."

Kennedy's comments came in a public conversation with Duke law professor Walter Dellinger during the kickoff event for a symposium on the Dred Scott case at the University of Texas School of Law. The 1857 case denied Scott his freedom and said black people could never be American citizens.

The symposium continues today and Saturday with discussions by 11 law, history and political science professors from across the country.

The case matters today because of the issues it raises about the roles of the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court, said UT law professor Sanford Levinson, the symposium's organizer.

Dellinger used the case to frame discussion of current immigration debates as Congress is considering denying citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants. The Dred Scott case was about deciding who got to be a U.S. citizen, he said, warning of the dangers of defining in laws and courts who is or is not American.

Both scholars agreed that the primary importance of the case is that it lays bare the prevailing attitudes about black people in early U.S. politics. "It makes us look at how race and racism are at the basis of the Constitution," Dellinger said.

A Virginia-born slave, Dred Scott was suing only for his own freedom, based on the argument that he could no longer be a slave because he had been taken to a free state. He had initially tried to buy freedom for himself and his wife, but his owner refused.

In March 1857, more than 10 years after he filed his lawsuit, the Supreme Court ruled on his case. The wide-reaching 7-2 decision denied citizenship to all black people and declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, allowing slavery in all states.

Black people "had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations," Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote in the court's decision. "They had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."

The decision, along with its soaring racist rhetoric, fueled the public debate on slavery, leading to Abraham Lincoln's election as president in 1860 and contributing to the start of the Civil War.

Kennedy said he sees Taney nearly every day in Harvard's library, where his portrait hangs on the wall among other historical figures. Despite the justice's opinion backing slavery, Kennedy said, he would not take the portrait down.

"In a way it's useful for Taney to be up on the wall," he said, because it can lead to conversation about him. "The problem is general ignorance."

If you go

The Dred Scott symposium is free and open to the public and will be held at the Eidman Courtroom, 723 Dean Keeton St. Parking is available at the San Jacinto garage.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: curtis; dredscott; racialsegregation; racistdemocrats; rogerbrooketaney; ruling; scotus
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1 posted on 03/31/2006 7:20:28 AM PST by Cat loving Texan
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To: Cat loving Texan

I wonder what percent of black teens (or white teens) could identify the case? Probably not a very high percentage. It has nothing to do with problems facing the black community today and has nothing to do with the solution to these problems.


2 posted on 03/31/2006 7:22:25 AM PST by SmoothTalker
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To: Cat loving Texan

But how do the blacks feel about losing their leading minority status to the Mexicans?


3 posted on 03/31/2006 7:24:52 AM PST by digger48
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To: Cat loving Texan
Yeah, we live in a pigmentocracy,"

The whole world is that way. America is no exception, we just handle it relatively better.
4 posted on 03/31/2006 7:25:06 AM PST by P-40 (http://www.590klbj.com/forum/index.php?referrerid=1854)
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To: Cat loving Texan
. "Until it is a (case) that one can read and feel that it is repudiated, it will continue to have . . . a certain potency."

I can read it and feel that it's repudiated. And its "potency" exists only in the minds of the race hustlers who have leveraged it into a cottage industry.

5 posted on 03/31/2006 7:25:50 AM PST by IronJack
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To: Cat loving Texan
Part of the answer is the racism inherent in the foundation of our government, he said, and it's not a historical artifact.

Racism is only inherent in the foundation of our government because liberals screwed with laws and entitlements long enough to make it so.

6 posted on 03/31/2006 7:27:58 AM PST by SaveTheChief ("This one goes to eleven.")
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To: IronJack

Its potency was forever crushed by the Union Army, and the destruction of the Old South.


7 posted on 03/31/2006 7:29:32 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: Cat loving Texan

Actually, I read something recently that suggested that, although on its face an outrage, the decision was, intentionally or not, a historically brilliant legal maneuver. By counting each slave as less than a full person, it kept the official population of the southern states from artificially ballooning, thereby inflating their representation in Congress and making the goal of freedom a slower and more difficult goal to achieve.


8 posted on 03/31/2006 7:31:23 AM PST by william clark
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To: SmoothTalker
I wonder what percent of black teens (or white teens) could identify the case?

Isn't the Dred Scott Case the case where Scott keeps his dred locks? Erie!

9 posted on 03/31/2006 7:32:21 AM PST by pikachu (Why are all my rich Nigerian relatives dying but none of them can get a will made?)
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To: Cat loving Texan
"In a way it's useful for Taney to be up on the wall," he said, because it can lead to conversation about him.

Further proof that the modern "civil rights" movement is ballasted by 150-year old injustices long since put right.

10 posted on 03/31/2006 7:32:35 AM PST by Caveman Lawyer (Cluckin' defiance)
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To: Cat loving Texan
African-Americans have a legitimate cause for anger in regards to the invasion of illegals from Mexico.

Consider the white Southern California "Yuppies". Most of them consider themselves "moderates" in the Los Angeles Times sense of the word - which is to say they are actually liberals. They are the ones hiring illegals as nannies, maids, and gardeners. Why? Because they prefer smiling brown faces to unsmiling black faces.

The chiseling business owners who run the garment district sweatshops also prefer those brown faces over black. Their racism is joined with an interest in acquiring a quick buck. They are apolitical for the most part and their concept of the "American Dream" is a warped pursuit of material wealth -- not patriotism and liberty.

As for the farmers up in the Big Valley (solid conservatives many of them) -- seems they would rather have brown faced migrants than share the Tule fog black faced permanent residents.

A young black student was interviewed on a local television station and asked his reaction to this weeks barrage of immigration 'discussions' in the public schools. He said he didn't care -- it wasn't about him. But it is about him, his family and his neighbors. Very much about him indeed.
11 posted on 03/31/2006 7:33:30 AM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Cat loving Texan
"a pigmentocracy?"
When I was a child my parents and siblings laughed in my face for making up ridiculous new words. Today I've learned why; I'm not black and I don't have a doctorate.
12 posted on 03/31/2006 7:45:53 AM PST by kublia khan (Absolute war brings total victory)
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To: Cat loving Texan
"The problem is general ignorance."

I agree -- Ignorance by the sleazy legal profession that continues to stir up problems where there are none.
13 posted on 03/31/2006 7:48:17 AM PST by C Knotts
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To: digger48
Out with the old, in with the new?

It will be interesting to see how Democratic policy changes to pander to the new minority class versus the old. Hell, they're already calling it the new civil rights movement and they're not even legal citizens yet. I guess the early bird gets the worm.
14 posted on 03/31/2006 7:55:18 AM PST by TheForceOfOne (El Chupacabra spotted near U.S./Mexican border feeding on illegal immigrants. Pass it on..)
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To: TheForceOfOne

The Democrats will probably start by trying to give back Texas


15 posted on 03/31/2006 7:59:48 AM PST by digger48
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To: william clark
"...thereby inflating their representation in Congress and making the goal of freedom a slower and more difficult goal to achieve."

If you are insinuating that the US Congress was working on freedom for slaves in 1861, sadly you are mistaken. Perhaps you have not heard of the Corwin Amendment to the US Constitution.

The Corwin Amendment to the United States Constitution, Number 13, Would Legalize Slavery throughout the Country.

2/28/1861 Congress wrote and passed the Corwin Amendment, also known as the Slavery Amendment. In a remarkable attempt to keep Southern States from leaving the Union, a 13th Amendment to the Constitution, was whittled out of the Crittenden Compromise of the second session of the Thirty-sixth Congress.

It would legalize slavery everywhere in the Union.

It was submitted to both houses of Congress on February 28, later approved, and submitted to the states for ratification on March 9, 1861. It declared in part that:

“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give Congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor service by the laws of said State”.

Before being sent to the states, during the last hour of President Buchanan’s tenure, he affixed his signature to the document

The President’s signature was considered unnecessary because of the constitutional provision that on the concurrence of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, the proposal would be submitted to the States for ratification.

Newly inaugurated President Lincoln later signed the document’s letter of introduction to the state governors, and asked for their approval.

It was quickly ratified by Maryland and Ohio. Its passage by other states was haulted by Lincoln's call for troops.
16 posted on 03/31/2006 8:01:59 AM PST by PeaRidge
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To: william clark
By counting each slave as less than a full person

I do not believe the Dred Scott Decision had anything to do with the three-fifths provision. The people in the North actually wanted to count slaves as zero and the people in the South wanted to count them as one, but this was only for the purposes of deciding the apportionment of representation in the House of Representatives.

ML/NJ

17 posted on 03/31/2006 8:03:00 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: digger48

Give it back. Give it back. To us.


18 posted on 03/31/2006 8:04:51 AM PST by BuglerTex
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To: Cat loving Texan
But the case has been repudiated. The case was based on diversity jurisdiction. Back then you're citizenship was according to your state, not the national government. Therefore a slave escaping to a free state was still a citizen of the slave state he came from and subject to its laws. Now we have national citizenship and unless the 13th amendment has been repealed, I believe we do not have slavery anymore. I don't think you can get greater repudiation than that.
19 posted on 03/31/2006 8:09:33 AM PST by Stag_Man (Hamilton is my Hero)
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To: BenLurkin

I totally agree BenLurkin. These so-called "moderates" would welcome the brown people as long as those brown people do their landscaping for a low price.

Oh wait... you mean not only are they bringing landscaping tools in, but drugs as well? Who cares. Some of these men probably have felonies? Who cares.

Meanwhile, while black Americans continue to struggle for an education and to do away with the biased, gangster image they are constantly bombarded with on liberal entertainment television, these illegals are getting a free ride...

Oh the logic of a liberal... wait that's an oxymoron...


20 posted on 03/31/2006 8:16:42 AM PST by AmericanRepublican (There are fools on both sides. Only the true Americans will prevail.)
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To: digger48
I can just imagine Hollywood remaking the Alamo, except this time the Mexicans are on the inside resisting us in order to gain independence for Texas. (With Alex Baldwin as the Great Grandson of Poncho Villa)
21 posted on 03/31/2006 8:16:45 AM PST by TheForceOfOne (El Chupacabra spotted near U.S./Mexican border feeding on illegal immigrants. Pass it on..)
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To: Cat loving Texan

Dred Scott does, indeed, still haunt our nation. I bring it up every time a pro-abortion type wants to talk about "stare decisis" as the most important guiding principle of the Supreme Court.


22 posted on 03/31/2006 8:19:46 AM PST by Terabitten (The only time you can have too much ammunition is when you're swimming.)
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To: Cat loving Texan
The 1857 case ... said black people could never be American citizens.

I don't think it said that. It said they were not citizens. There is a difference. After the (supposed) ratification of the 14th Amendment, I think all seven members of the Court who concurred with the decision would have agreed that blacks were then citizens.

I emphasize seven because it seems as if today's "historians" act as if the Dred Scott case was decided by one old lunatic.

ML/NJ

23 posted on 03/31/2006 8:23:39 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Cat loving Texan
"Why are black people so angry?"

Because their so-called leadership has failed them. The Civil Rights Act was game, set, and match. From that point on, the cry should have been, "We have won equal rights - now what are we going to do with them?" Instead, they kept on as if they were still unequal in the eyes of the law.

Before the Civil Rights Act, responsibility for the success or failure of African Americans rested on me, as a white male. After the Civil Rights Act, the responsibility rested solely on them.

24 posted on 03/31/2006 8:27:12 AM PST by Terabitten (The only time you can have too much ammunition is when you're swimming.)
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To: ml/nj
I do not believe the Dred Scott Decision had anything to do with the three-fifths provision.

The so-called "3/5ths compromise" had to do with counting population for the numbers of congressional representatives since (as it is today) the number of Representatives is based upon the population figures. The compromise was that 3 out every 5 slaves would be counted for population numbers thus entitling the southern states higher number of Representatives.

25 posted on 03/31/2006 8:27:56 AM PST by blinachka (Vechnaya Pamyat Daddy... xoxo)
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To: william clark; ml/nj
See number 17. It was the US Constitution, not the Scott decision, that defined slave apportionment at 3/5s.

Based on the Constitution, Taney declared that slaves could not be citizens.
26 posted on 03/31/2006 8:29:38 AM PST by PeaRidge
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To: ml/nj
The Dred Scott case was primarily about whether the federal government had authority to ban slavery in the territories (the way that slavery had been forbidden in the Northwest territory, and by the Missouri compromise in parts of the Louisiana Purchase).

The 3/5ths compromise went back to the Articles of Confederation period and had to do with tax assessments to the states. The idea was that a slave worked less productively than a free person, so that five slaves would do the work of three free persons. The formula was then taken over in the Constitution for apportioning representatives (and also "direct taxes").

27 posted on 03/31/2006 8:58:36 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: SmoothTalker

I also wonder how many of them realize that it was their favorite democrat party that was behind Dred Scott and that Justice Taney was a member of their party of slavery.


28 posted on 03/31/2006 9:12:25 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Stag_Man

--But the case has been repudiated--

Dred Scott v Sandford was never overturned, rather it was rendered moot by the 13th Amendment, passed as a result of a war the case helped provoke by overturning the Missouri Compromise. The real lesson of Dred is the damage judicial review (something never expressly provided for in the US constitution BTW) can cause when it runs afoul of strong majority will.


29 posted on 03/31/2006 9:12:41 AM PST by Colonel Batguano (Purity of essence)
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To: Colonel Batguano

Never said it was overturned. It was repudiated but not by the court. It was repudiated by the people of the US, which is even stronger.


30 posted on 03/31/2006 9:19:34 AM PST by Stag_Man (Hamilton is my Hero)
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To: Stag_Man

True, but only after a war that: Killed over 600,000 people Devastated a major region of the US (which languished economically as a result for nearly 100 years after the war's end)
Began the long march toward a leviathan federal government
Left political and social after-effects which are still felt today.

Just goes to show that people in black robes can do far more damage than people in white robes ever dreamed of.


31 posted on 03/31/2006 9:31:14 AM PST by Colonel Batguano (Purity of essence)
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To: proxy_user
Its potency was forever crushed by the Union Army, and the destruction of the Old South.

And that little thing called the Thirteenth Amendment ...

32 posted on 03/31/2006 9:54:34 AM PST by IronJack
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To: Caveman Lawyer
the modern "civil rights" movement is ballasted by 150-year old injustices long since put right.

Well said.

And, it should be noted, "injustices" that were as much a function of the social milieu of the day as they were any infernal plot to oppress a given people.

Nor are they injustices to which anyone alive today has ever been victim.

33 posted on 03/31/2006 9:58:42 AM PST by IronJack
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To: PeaRidge
It would legalize slavery everywhere in the Union.

The text you provide clearly does not support that interpretation.

“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give Congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor service by the laws of said State”.

D-uh, the Corwin Amendment did not "legalize slavery everywhere in the Union." It allowed states to make their own laws regarding slavery, and forbade constitutional action to abolish slavery, i.e. it asserted "state's rights," what you guys want. It would not legalize slavery in Michigan or Vermont or give it additional protection in the free states.

Nor did it represent Congress's ideal intention with regard to slavery. It was a last ditch compromise effort to save the union. Moreover, the Corwin Amendment was an attempt to head off the Crittenden compromise which would have made slavery legal in the territories." Neither proposed amendment would have "legalized slavery throughout the country but at least the Corwin version would have left the non-slave territories free.

Whether the Corwin Amendment would have been ratified and what status an "unamendable amendment" would have are debatable questions with no easy answers. The supporters of the amendment widely regarded the amendment as simply reasserting the Constitution's provisions with regard to slavery, not as some radical change.

The Corwin Amendment certainly wasn't our nation's finest hour. It was an attempt to prevent the country from falling apart by trying to satisfy Southern demands for Constitutional protections for slavery.

34 posted on 03/31/2006 12:35:32 PM PST by x
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To: x
It was an attempt to prevent the country from falling apart by trying to satisfy Southern demands for Constitutional protections for slavery private property.
35 posted on 03/31/2006 1:04:01 PM PST by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: Colonel Batguano

Part of the 14th amendment seems to be intended to overturn Taney's opinion in the Dred Scott case--the part stating that all persons born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.


36 posted on 03/31/2006 1:49:48 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: x
The text you provide clearly does not support that interpretation. ("It would legalize slavery everywhere in the Union.")

Yes it does.

Here is The Corwin Amendment as it appears officially in Volume 12 of the Statutes at Large at page 251. Its text is as follows:

"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor service by the laws of said State."

So, the text is exactly as is in record, and your comment "text you provide clearly does not support that interpretation" is simply your opinion.

Congress adopted this proposal on March 2, 1861. It is substantively concerned with slavery. It proposes to protect slave states from congressional interference.

But it can rightly be considered an amendment to Article V of the US Constitution, because, if ratified, it would significantly and expressly have curtailed the federal amending power.

Moreover, as originally adopted, Article V of the US Constitution included an express limitation that prevented the abolition of slavery by amendment until 1808. The Corwin amendment would have renewed the limitation in perpetuity.

Link; http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/psa/app1.htm

This would have sealed the Dred Scott decision, and allowed any slave owners to bring slaves into any state or territory. Ownership of slaves could not be prevented by the Federal government, and appeals higher than state courts would make slavery legal anywhere owners decided to take them.
37 posted on 03/31/2006 1:54:11 PM PST by PeaRidge
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To: x
But, of course, you are diverting attention from the issue...your usual efforts at misdirection.

The issue: "If you are insinuating that the US Congress was working on freedom for slaves in 1861, sadly you are mistaken. Perhaps you have not heard of the Corwin Amendment to the US Constitution."
38 posted on 03/31/2006 1:58:48 PM PST by PeaRidge
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To: Cat loving Texan

Yeah, it does, today it's called ROE V WADE.


39 posted on 03/31/2006 1:58:55 PM PST by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: SmoothTalker
Reply to post #2

You said it right. It has been over 100 years and those folks are still dragging their feet big time. Another 100 years of affirmative action and unlimited welfare will bring very little improvement at all. I think the secret word is character.
40 posted on 03/31/2006 2:12:06 PM PST by Lewite (Praise YAHWEH and Proclaim His Wonderful Name, His Son Yahshua Messiah is coming soon!)
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To: PeaRidge
The original text of the Constitution did not prevent the aboliton of slavery before 1808, but rather stopping the importation of additonal slaves--

"The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight..." (Art. I, Sec. 9).

In Article V, where it talks about amending the Constitution, it says that "no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses of the Ninth Section of the first Article..."

So Congress could have prohibited the importation of slaves into Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, or Ohio before 1808.

41 posted on 03/31/2006 2:13:45 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: proxy_user

Reconstruction was such a highlight in our history. Don't buy the rantings of this pigmentologist.


42 posted on 03/31/2006 2:20:57 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: Colonel Batguano
Dred Scott v Sandford was never overturned.... The real lesson of Dred is the damage judicial review (something never expressly provided for in the US constitution BTW) can cause when it runs afoul of strong majority will.

The problem with the Dred Scott decision was Taney's incendiary opinion, not the outcome itself. "Domestic servitude" was a complicated thing, and the Dred Scott case is interesting on many levels.

Dred Scott had followed his longtime master, an army surgeon, on various postings in the North, the South, and the territories. Over many years of faithful service, he never made any attempt to run away (which probably would have been easy when in the North) or purchase his freedom. I will defer to anyone who has read a detailed history of the case, but my surmise is that Dred Scott and his master probably had a fairly positive relationship as such things are measured in a master-slave context -- i.e., the sort of thing the moonlight-and-magnolias confederate apologists like to imagine. It was not uncommon, though slavery obviously had darker faces as well.

Anyhow, Scott's longtime master eventually died and the widow wanted to hire him out to someone else. Long accustomed to apparently congenial service to his old master, Scott resisted the move. That is when he attempted to purchase his freedom. The widow refused. Scott then sued for his freedom.

This would have been a far more challenging case had Scott sued for his freedom while resident in a free state, but he never did; the surgeon was alive during those years, and Scott was apparently content. He brought suit while a resident of Missouri, and a temperate court could have held simply that the laws of Missouri were controlling. This, however, would have implied that the laws of free states were controlling when Scott was resident there, and that was a conclusion Taney apparently wished to suppress.

Taney therefore trumped up one of the most scandalously overreaching decisions in the history of judicial activism, complete with the incendiary assertion that black men had no rights that white men were obliged to respect. This utterly ignored the long history of civic emancipation of black people in the north stretching from colonial times forward, as well as the slave codes of southern states. Slaves most definitely DID have legally recognized protections even under southern slave codes, inadequate though they were. The logic of Taney's decision was, in fact, so sweeping that under it, free states would not have been able to exclude slavery at all. The war came before all these issues were played out.

The most poignant part of the story is that, after the failure of his suit, Scott's freedom was purchased by the children of his old master. He died a few months later. The participation of his old master's children speaks volumes about Scott's relationship to the surgeon for most of his life in servitude. It also leads me to wonder whether the case was a put-up job to test the principles involved. (Plessey vs. Ferguson is a classic case of this.) Are there any scholars of the matter who can shed light on this?

43 posted on 03/31/2006 2:37:26 PM PST by sphinx
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To: PeaRidge; Non-Sequitur; Ditto; Heyworth
You're kidding right? Are you seriously saying that the Corwin Amendment of 1860 would have abolished the 1808 ban on slave importation from abroad? That change had already been made, and couldn't be undone retrospectively without some explicit authorization.

And you're saying that a measure restricting Congress's ability to legislate on slavery would overturn long-standing state laws banning slavery? The Dred Scott still needed to be interpreted and enforced and could likely be overturned. Had most Northern Congressmen or state legislators thought that the Corwin Amendment repealed the Northwest Ordinance.

Pea, you are truly barking mad if you believe that Congress was voting to legalize the Atlantic slave trade or legalize slavery throughout the North. The Corwin Amendment was intended to be a moderate alternative to the Crittenden proposal and won support precisely because it didn't overturn state laws forbidding slavery and established federal laws concerning slavery in the territories.

What you're doing is playing empty word games. That's to be expected if you learned your Constitution from Jefferson Davis, but it's not convincing to those who haven't drunk the Kool Aid.

Southern radicals threatened to secede. Congressmen tried to do what they could to appease them. Northern politicians were willing to go a long way to give Southern slaveowners the guarantees for slavery that they wanted in order to prevent secession. It wasn't a question of what those Congressmen ideally wanted or would have done in the absence of an unprecedented national crisis.

44 posted on 03/31/2006 5:43:56 PM PST by x
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To: yankeedame
So you don't distinguish between slaves and other "forms of property"? So if we respect property rights, we have to support slave-ownership?

And just what other rights to property were threatened in 1860 and protected by such compromises?

It's been 140 years since the Civil War. What's the problem with admitting that slavery was a major part of 19th century American life and the defense of slavery a major preoccupation of Southern politicians?

45 posted on 03/31/2006 5:45:44 PM PST by x
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To: Cat loving Texan

I always like to bring up the Dred Scott Decision every time a liberal starts defending Roe v. Wade by harping on the importance of respecting precedents and never overturning previously-decided cases.


46 posted on 04/01/2006 12:38:02 AM PST by HHFi
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To: Cat loving Texan
The Dred Scott case was about deciding who got to be a U.S. citizen, he said, warning of the dangers of defining in laws and courts who is or is not American.

Isn't that what the laws and courts are for, to in part define things like this?

47 posted on 04/01/2006 3:18:35 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: william clark
Actually, I read something recently that suggested that, although on its face an outrage, the decision was, intentionally or not, a historically brilliant legal maneuver. By counting each slave as less than a full person, it kept the official population of the southern states from artificially ballooning, thereby inflating their representation in Congress and making the goal of freedom a slower and more difficult goal to achieve.

Dred Scott had nothing to do with that. The census status of slaves had already been established by Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. Dred Scott ruled that free blacks were not citizens and could never be citizens of the U.S. And there was nothing brilliant about the twisted, tangled legal reasoning that Chief Justice Taney applied in his decision. Quite the opposite.

48 posted on 04/01/2006 3:23:26 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: PeaRidge
If you are insinuating that the US Congress was working on freedom for slaves in 1861, sadly you are mistaken. Perhaps you have not heard of the Corwin Amendment to the US Constitution.

If you are insinuating that Dred Scott was issued in 1861 then you are sadly mistaken. The decision was issued in 1856.

The Corwin Amendment to the United States Constitution, Number 13, Would Legalize Slavery throughout the Country.

Absolute nonsense, as you would know if you bothered reading the amendment to begin with. "No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State." If slavery was legal in Alabama then Congress couldn't end it, though Alabama could have had they wanted to. But if slavery was illegal in Michigan then the Corwin Amendment did not mean that it was suddenly legal. Michigan could continue to ban it. The Corwin Amendment was, in its own way, no different from clauses in the confederate constituiton which established slavery in the confederacy and ensured the central government could not interfere with it.

49 posted on 04/01/2006 3:31:59 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Cat loving Texan
Dellinger used the case to frame discussion of current immigration debates as Congress is considering denying citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants.

Very clever Walter. Connect the "victims"

50 posted on 04/01/2006 3:37:45 AM PST by PGalt
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