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University of Michigan Law School

Law and Race

Dred Scott v. Sandford

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Slaves As Plaintiffs, Alfred L. Brophy Apr 2017

Slaves As Plaintiffs, Alfred L. Brophy

Michigan Law Review

Review of Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom Before Dred Scott by Lea VanderVelde.


An "Unintended Consequence": Dred Scott Reinterpreted, Sam Erman Apr 2008

An "Unintended Consequence": Dred Scott Reinterpreted, Sam Erman

Michigan Law Review

Austin Allen's monograph marks the 150th anniversary of the decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford with a revisionist interpretation of that oft-examined case. Many scholars have portrayed the case as a proslavery decision that fanned sectional fires. After all, the Court held that blacks were not U.S. citizens and that Congress was impotent to bar slavery in U.S. territories. Allen, by contrast, understands the case primarily as a judicial attempt to rationalize federal commerce and slavery jurisprudences. Part I argues that this ambitious reinterpretation enriches, but does not topple, existing Dred Scott historiography. In the case of ...


The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus Jan 2006

The Riddle Of Hiram Revels, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In 1870, a black man named Hiram Revels was named to represent Mississippi in the Senate. Senate Democrats objected to seating him and pointed out that the Constitution specifies that no person may be a senator who has not been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years. Before the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Democrats argued, Revels had not been a citizen on account of the Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Thus, even if Revels were a citizen in 1870, he had held that status for only two ...


Slavery Rhetoric And The Abortion Debate, Debora Threedy Jan 1994

Slavery Rhetoric And The Abortion Debate, Debora Threedy

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

There are many things that could be, and have been, said about the question of abortion. This article focuses on the rhetoric of the abortion debate. Specifically, I discuss how both sides of the abortion debate have appropriated the image of the slave and used that image as a rhetorical tool, a metaphor, in making legal arguments. Further, I examine the effectiveness of this metaphor as a rhetorical tool. Finally, I question the purposes behind this appropriation, and whether it reflects a lack of sensitivity to the racial content of the appropriated image.


The Fourteenth Amendment Reconsidered, The Segregation Question, Alfred H. Kelly Jun 1956

The Fourteenth Amendment Reconsidered, The Segregation Question, Alfred H. Kelly

Michigan Law Review

Some sixty years ago in Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court of the United States adopted the now celebrated "separate but equal" doctrine as a constitutional guidepost for state segregation statutes. Justice Brown's opinion declared that state statutes imposing racial segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, provided only that the statute in question guaranteed equal facilities for the two races. Brown's argument rested on a historical theory of the intent, although he offered no evidence to support it. "The object of the amendment," he said, "was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before ...