Dred Scott 150 Years On

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A hundred and fifty years ago this year, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision that many scholars see as the worst in its history.

The Dred Scott decision of 1857 found that all "negroes," even the free, and all their descendants, were not due the status of "citizen." They were not brought to the United States to be citizens. They would never be citizens, or hold the rights of citizens.

Dred Scott quickly became a catchphrase for denial of humanity. How does it apply today, with illegal immigrants, Guantanamo and more?

This hour On Point: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and top legal scholars on Dred Scott now.


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer

Charles Ogletree, professor at Harvard Law School and founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

John McGinnis, professor of law at Northwestern University.

This program aired on August 20, 2007.


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