Loading, please wait...
:

product description page

Supreme Injustice : Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court - by Paul Finkelman (Hardcover)

Supreme Injustice : Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court -  by Paul Finkelman (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1

About this item

The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War—Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story—upheld the institution of slavery in ruling after ruling. These opinions cast a shadow over the Court and the legacies of these men, but historians have rarely delved deeply into the personal and political ideas and motivations they held. In Supreme Injustice, the distinguished legal historian Paul Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice’s proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the incentives created by circumstances in his private life.

Finkelman uses census data and other sources to reveal that Justice Marshall aggressively bought and sold slaves throughout his lifetime—a fact that biographers have ignored. Justice Story never owned slaves and condemned slavery while riding circuit, and yet on the high court he remained silent on slave trade cases and ruled against blacks who sued for freedom. Although Justice Taney freed many of his own slaves, he zealously and consistently opposed black freedom, arguing in Dred Scott that free blacks had no Constitutional rights and that slave owners could move slaves into the Western territories. Finkelman situates this infamous holding within a solid record of support for slavery and hostility to free blacks.

Supreme Injustice boldly documents the entanglements that alienated three major justices from America’s founding ideals and embedded racism ever deeper in American civic life.

Number of Pages: 287
Genre: Freedom + Security / Law Enforcement, Political Science, Biography + Autobiography
Sub-Genre: History
Series Title: Nathan I Huggins Lectures
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
Author: Paul Finkelman
Language: English
Street Date: January 8, 2018
TCIN: 52736975
UPC: 9780674051218
Item Number (DPCI): 248-47-1632
If the item details above aren’t accurate or complete, we want to know about it. Report incorrect product info.
$31.50
MSRPwas $35.00

Guest reviews

Prices, promotions, styles and availability may vary by store & online. See our price match guarantee. See how a store is chosen for you.