Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Life and Times of Dred Scott

[Over the years we’ve noted the Indiana bench and bar’s unusual attention to legal history.  Here’s another example.]

The Indiana Supreme Court will host a free Commission for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event, celebrating Black History: The Life and Times of Dred Scott on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 from 3:30 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. in the Gathertorium on the campus of Martin University in Indianapolis.

Utah Attorney General Mark L. Shurtleff, the author of "Am I Not a Man?-The Dred Scott Story", will speak about the book, a historical novel which tells the remarkable story of Dred Scott, events leading up to the Supreme Court Ruling decided March 6,1857, the election of President Abraham Lincoln, and ultimately, the abolition of slavery. The book was first released to commemorate February's "Black History Month" designation.

Attorney General Shurtleff will discuss the Constitutional analysis and legal underpinnings of this landmark ruling and the implication of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's 7-2 decision in which every Justice, beside Taney, wrote a separate concurrence or dissent. This decision greatly impacted the national political landscape and helped Abe Lincoln win his Presidential race. General Shurtleff will also provide perspective on the legal reasoning regarding the Fourteenth Amendment in the context of  the Dred Scott ruling: and the current legal arguments in the context of comprehensive immigration reform as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment should be altered.

Lynn M. Jackson, great-great granddaughter of Dred and Harriett Scott, will offer her personal perspective on her family and the ruling. She is President and Founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will introduce the speakers and moderate the discussion portion of the program. Dr. Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, Acting President of Martin University, will provide welcome remarks.

Hat tip/more.