Dred Scott and the Dangers of a Political Court

Dred Scott and the Dangers of a Political Court

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Dred Scott exemplies neither originalism nor aspirationalism gone wrong, as many modern critics now argue. Rather, the Dred Scott Court erred chiefly because the majority gave in to the still-relevant temptation to subordinate honest legal reasoning to the pursuit of what the majority regarded as a noble and crucial political agenda_in this case, to protect slavery and the political power of the slave-holding South, and thereby preserve the Union.