Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chief Justice Roberts looks at Dred Scott in UT-Austin lecture

Earlier this month Chief Justice John Roberts came to Austin to deliver a keynote address at the 2007 Tex Lezar Memorial Lecture - on the 157th anniversary of Daniel Webster's famous speech in support of the 1850 Compromise on slavery, he noted, that delayed the Civil War but ultimately ruined Webster's political career.

Roberts' remarks focused on the characters involved and implications of the famous Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, particularly regarding the need for courts to demonstrate "institutional humility." You can watch streaming video of the half-hour lecture.

NEXT MORNING UPDATE: While on the subject of slavery, this blogger more or less sums up my views on the proposal that Texas now apologize for the practice - I could name 50 more pressing issues the Lege should be addressing without breaking a sweat. Another blogger yesterday discussed a Methodist abolitionist martyr from West Texas (whose descendants, one supposes, wouldn't be required to apologize). And since Justice Roberts was keen on anniversaries, it's worth mentioning that this morning (3/26) is the anniversary of the Texans' pivotal defeat during the Civil War at the Battle of Glorieta Pass. Meanwhile, this blogger offfers us a little known Civil War story from Brownsville in the March 26, 1863 edition of a Corpus Christi newspaper, The Ranchero.


Anonymous said...

This weekend, the UK has been marking the 200th anniversary of the abolishion of slavery. No compromise.

Anonymous said...

Gorilla ~ we dont really have anywhere near as big a problem with meth as the US does, it's just not the drug of choice here. Our police usually try to hit the big suppliers instead of the little man selling a few bags of grass on a Friday night. Often, anyone caught with a small amount "for personal use" is just sent on their way with a warning, unless it is cocain or heroin. There are always moves to keep evaluating the classification of illegal drugs because as you say, the mix/strength is always changing. A lot of people want alcohol and tobacco included as well, they do just as much damage when misused.

Jason said...

Thanks for the history reminder. I had forgotten all about the Dred Scott case. Next time I get in a debate about the wisdom of the supreme court I can pull that rabbit out of my hat.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Jason, if you really want a history reminder be sure to listen to the lecture - it was actually pretty interesting for the history I didn't know or had forgotten, a glimpse into Roberts' own thinking, and also as a memorium from someone who knew Tex Lezar, who was a sort of conservative Texas legal icon.

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