Tag Archives: Three-Fifths Clause

Dred Scott and the Three-Fifths Clause Today

“They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it. This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race. It was regarded as an axiom in morals as well as in politics which no one thought of disputing or supposed to be open to dispute, and men in every grade and position in society daily and habitually acted upon it in their private pursuits, as well as in matters of public concern, without doubting for a moment the correctness of this opinion.” Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 407 (1856).

So as bad as the Citizens United decision is, no, it doesn’t approach Dred Scott. But we’re having a problem with this.

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