Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

This is a quote of the day in the sense of the "Not Top 10 Plays" of gaffes and miscues ESPN runs on Fridays.

"...Dred Scott v. Sandford is widely regarded as wrongly decided."

--Judge Sonia Sotomayor, responding to written follow-up questions from Sen. John Cornyn.

For those of you unfamiliar with the case, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote for the Court:“[the negro] had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and…might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

And as pointed out by WSJ SCOTUS correspondent Jess Bravin:
Abraham Lincoln, then running for Senate, said the decision effectively nullified the noble promises of the Declaration of Independence. In the Supreme Court’s hands, the charter “is assailed, and sneered at, and construed, and hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise from their graves, they could not at all recognize it.”
Bravin's entire post here.

Now, I understand not wanting to antagonize Southern Republicans; but I'm pretty sure that, by now, even they will cop to the human equality of blacks so blatantly spit upon in that decision.

ADDENDUM: It's not that I'm implying anything nefarious/racist on her part. Just kinda floored by her inability to say anything resembling sensible about the case. Dred Scott v Sandford is perhaps only eclipsed by Korematsu (by the latter's placement on the historical timeline) as the most egregiously racist Supreme Court opinion ever written. (And that's saying something.)

It's more of a comment about the sorry state of our current confirmation system than it is any reflection on her. Though, I think she could have said a little bit more and, as it stands, the statement is fully in the running for understatement of the year.

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