Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law
Author: David Thomas Konig
Publisher: Ohio University Press
In 1846 two slaves, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed petitions for their freedom in the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. As the first true civil rights case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford raised issues that have not been fully resolved despite three amendments to the Constitution and more than a century and a half of litigation. The Dred Scott Case: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law presents original research and the reflections of the nation’s leading scholars who gathered in St. Louis to mark the 150th anniversary of what was arguably the most infamous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision, which held that African Americans “had no rights” under the Constitution and that Congress had no authority to alter that, galvanized Americans and thrust the issue of race and law to the center of American politics. This collection of essays revisits the history of the case and its aftermath in American life and law. In a final section, the present-day justices of the Missouri Supreme Court offer their reflections on the process of judging and provide perspective on the misdeeds of their nineteenth-century predecessors who denied the Scotts their freedom. Contributors: Austin Allen, Adam Arenson, John Baugh, Hon. Duane Benton, Christopher Alan Bracey, Alfred L. Brophy, Paul Finkelman, Louis Gerteis, Mark Graber, Daniel W. Hamilton, Cecil J. Hunt II, David Thomas Konig, Leland Ware, Hon. Michael A. Wolff
Jacksonian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court, 1837-1857
Author: Austin Allen
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
The Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denied citizenship to African Americans and enabled slavery's westward expansion. It has long stood as a grievous instance of justice perverted by sectional politics. Austin Allen finds that the outcome of Dred Scott hinged not on a single issue—slavery—but on a web of assumptions, agendas, and commitments held collectively and individually by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney and his colleagues. Allen carefully tracks arguments made by Taney Court justices in more than 1,600 reported cases in the two decades prior to Dred Scott and in its immediate aftermath. By showing us the political, professional, ideological, and institutional contexts in which the Taney Court worked, Allen reveals that Dred Scott was not simply a victory for the Court's prosouthern faction. It was instead an outgrowth of Jacksonian jurisprudence, an intellectual system that charged the Court with protecting slavery, preserving both federal power and state sovereignty, promoting economic development, and securing the legal foundations of an emerging corporate order—all at the same time. Here is a wealth of new insight into the internal dynamics of the Taney Court and the origins of its most infamous decision.
This is an abridgement of the Pulitzer-Prize winning The Dred Scott Case, making Fehrenbacher's monumental work available to a wider audience. Although it condenses the original by half, all the chapters and major themes of the larger work have been retained, providing a masterful review of the issues before America on the eve of the Civil War.
slavery and the Supreme Court's self-inflicted wound
Author: Frank Brown Latham
Relates the background of the Dred Scott case, describes the roles of the principal individuals involved, and discusses the immediate and far reaching effects of this controversial Supreme Court decision.
Slave or citizen? This was the key question that Dred Scott brought to the United States Supreme Court in May of 1857. Author D. J. Herda examines the ideas and arguments behind this landmark case. Presented in a lively, thought-provoking overview, Herda brings into sharp focus the people, the case, and the fateful decision that upheld the legality of slavery.
In 1857, a slave sued for his freedom and lost. Readers will take an in-depth look at what some call the worst Supreme Court decision in history. The author also looks at the aftermath of the case, including the Civil War, and the great changes in the United States on the issue of slavery. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, and a chronology of the case.
Slave or citizen? This was the key question that Dred Scott brought to the United States Supreme Court in May of 1857. Author D. J. Herda examines the ideas and arguments behind this landmark case. Presented in a lively, thought-provoking overview, Herda brings to life the people, the case, and the fateful decision that upheld the legality of slavery.
Report of Hon. William H. Welsh, in the Senate of Pennsylvania, May 11, 1857 : from the Select Committee to which was Referred the Resolutions Relative to the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott Case