Dred Scott and the Origins of the Civil War

Here’s law professor Lea VanderVelde on the 1857 Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sanford.  It’s not bad, but she does err in saying there was no Fugitive Slave Law when Dred Scott was taken to free territory.

From the video’s description:  “Lea VanderVelde talked about the Dred Scott v. Sanford Supreme Court case of 1857, the repercussions of the decision, and why its location in Missouri was very important. Dred Scott, who was a slave, attempted to sue his owner John Sanford for his family’s freedom after they had been moved to a free state by their former master. Among other points, the court ruled that slave or free African Americans could not sue in federal court because they could not be U.S. citizens.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave the introduction.

The Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2014 Leon Silverman Lecture Series, ‘The Supreme Court and the Civil War Revisited,’ marked the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. ’Dred Scott and the Origins of the Civil War,’ the first of the four lectures, was held in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.”


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