Wednesday, November 5, 2008


El Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos confirmó la constitucionalidad de la esclavitud en el caso Dred Scott v. Sandford (http://, decidido en 1857 con estas palabras :

"We think they [people of African ancestry] are . . . not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word "citizens" in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. . . ."— Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, speaking for the majority

"Creemos que ellos (la población de ascendencia Africana) no están incluidos, y no se pretendió incluirlos, bajo la palabra ciudadanos en la Constitución, y no pueden por tanto reclamar ninguno de los derechos y privilegios que tal instrumento proporciona y asegura a los ciudadanos de los Estado Unidos…"-Presidente del Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos Roger B. Taney, expresando la opinión de la mayoría)

Roger Brooke Taney ( March 17, 1777October 12, 1864) was the twelfth United States Attorney General. He also was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864, and was the first Roman Catholic to hold that office.

Voto disidente del Juez Benjamin Robbins Curtis en “Dred Scott”:

“The conclusions at which I have arrived on this part of the case are:

First. That the free native-born citizens of each State are citizens of the United States.

Second. That as free colored persons born within some of the States are citizens of those States, such persons are also citizens of the United States.

Third. That every such citizen, residing in any State, has the right to sue and is liable to be sued in the Federal courts, as a citizen of that State in which he resides.

Fourth. That as the plea to the jurisdiction in this case shows no facts, except that the plaintiff was of African descent, and his ancestors were sold as slaves, and as these facts are not inconsistent with his citizenship of the United States, and his residence in the State of Missouri, the plea to the jurisdiction was bad, and the judgment of the Circuit Court overruling it was correct.

I dissent, therefore, from that part of the opinion of the majority of the court, in which it is held that a person of African descent cannot be a citizen of the United States; and I regret I must go further, and dissent both from what I deem their assumption of authority to examine the constitutionality of the act of Congress commonly called the Missouri compromise [60 U.S. 393, 589] act, and the grounds and conclusions announced in their opinion.”

The rancor engendered by the Dred Scott decision so strained Curtis's relations with his fellow justices that he resigned.

“La ley nunca hará libres a los hombres, son los hombres los que deben hacer libre a la ley. Los amantes de la ley y el orden cumplen la ley cuando el gobierno la infringe”.

(HENRY DAVID THOREAU: Esclavitud en Massachusetts)

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