After the recent ban of Affirmative Action by the current Supreme Court 6-3, when discussing the historical context of Supreme Court justices, it is important to acknowledge that some past justices owned slaves and played a role in supporting or upholding discriminatory laws. Here are just a few anti-Black Supreme Court justices:
1. John Rutledge (1739-1800) – Owned several slaves and participated in drafting the U.S. Constitution, which allowed for the continuation of slavery.
2. James Moore Wayne (1790-1867) – Supported the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which allowed the capture and return of escaped slaves.
3. Roger B. Taney (1777-1864) – Authored the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford case (1857), which denied citizenship to African Americans and declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional.
4. Joseph P. Bradley (1813-1892) – Supported the majority opinion in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), which struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and perpetuated racial segregation.
5. Horace Gray (1828-1902) – Supported the majority opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which upheld racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine.
It is crucial to recognize the historical impact of these justices’ decisions, as they contributed to the maintenance of discriminatory laws and practices and biased anti-Black ideological agendas.
Note: authored by, Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., President/CEO The National Business League | Historian | Economist | Black Business Influencer