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Jeff
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #140 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 10:18am
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 8:37am:
He may have opposed slavery, but that is incredibly weak as evidence that he opposed slavery.  Upholding the Fugitive Slave Act meant that he loved the constitution which upholds slavery.
The reason he voted to uphold the Fugitive Slave Act was to allow it's use to supersede state laws in slave states that were even worse than the Fugitive Slave Act.

Have you considered the real possibility that he argued that the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional, but thought that more damage to slaves would come from allowing the various state laws to stand?

Story obviously loved the Constitution, and from what I know of him so far, he sought to encourage the use of the power of the federal courts to help preserve and extend the blessings of liberty, to act as a bulwark against the usurpation of rights.

Edit: Here's a brief on the case:

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1789-1850/41us539

The conclusion:

"Justice Joseph Story delivered the opinion of the Court. The 1788 and 1826 Pennsylvania laws contradicted Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution and the Fugitive Slave Law. The Supremacy Clause assured that federal laws prevailed over the state laws. The decision did not wholly end asylum across state lines for slaves. Story granted that the state laws put in place by slave states to recapture slaves in free states only had to be enforced by federal officials, and not state magistrates."

As a justice, he was required by his oath to uphold the Constitution, and he did give escaped slaves a better chance, because the necessity (and possibility) that state magistrates capture and return escaped slaves was removed, and there weren't that many federal magistrates around at the time. Smiley

Story was not free to hold that slavery was unconstitutional. It wasn't.

Do you think the Fugitive Slave Law was unconstitutional at that time? Why?
  

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Jeff
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #141 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 10:36am
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 10:03am:
These days you can just look words up online:

Definition of enshrine. transitive verb. 1 : to enclose in or as if in a shrine. 2 : to preserve or cherish as sacred.

Nothing to do with permanence.
Things enclosed in shrines are generally hoped to be permanent, because they are cherished as sacred, which is why they are enshrined.

Only the slavers felt that way about slavery, and they were far from a majority.
  

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Little Biq Man
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #142 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:17pm
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Jeff wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 10:18am:
The reason he voted to uphold the Fugitive Slave Act was to allow it's use to supersede state laws in slave states that were even worse than the Fugitive Slave Act.

Have you considered the real possibility that he argued that the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional, but thought that more damage to slaves would come from allowing the various state laws to stand?


It is a possibility, but when you say, "real possibility," it makes me think there is some reason to believe it is not merely possible in the sense that anything is possible.  Is there such a reason?

Quote:
Story obviously loved the Constitution, and from what I know of him so far, he sought to encourage the use of the power of the federal courts to help preserve and extend the blessings of liberty, to act as a bulwark against the usurpation of rights.

Edit: Here's a brief on the case:

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1789-1850/41us539

The conclusion:

"Justice Joseph Story delivered the opinion of the Court. The 1788 and 1826 Pennsylvania laws contradicted Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution and the Fugitive Slave Law. The Supremacy Clause assured that federal laws prevailed over the state laws. The decision did not wholly end asylum across state lines for slaves. Story granted that the state laws put in place by slave states to recapture slaves in free states only had to be enforced by federal officials, and not state magistrates."

As a justice, he was required by his oath to uphold the Constitution, and he did give escaped slaves a better chance, because the necessity (and possibility) that state magistrates capture and return escaped slaves was removed, and there weren't that many federal magistrates around at the time. Smiley

Story was not free to hold that slavery was unconstitutional. It wasn't.

Do you think the Fugitive Slave Law was unconstitutional at that time? Why?


No, it was not at all unconstitutional.

I don't disagree with anything in the second section quoting you. 

When I joined the Army, I swore to uphold the Constitution, knowing that it banned slavery.  When Story became a federal judge, he swore to uphold the constitution knowing it protected slavery.

  
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Jeff
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #143 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:25pm
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:17pm:
It is a possibility, but when you say, "real possibility," it makes me think there is some reason to believe it is not merely possible in the sense that anything is possible.  Is there such a reason?
Yes, the state laws were worse. They sent deputized slave catchers into the free states to retrieve escaped slaves. The Fugitive slave act required that only federal magistrates could catch slaves and hold them for return. That meant it was easier to get the courts involved, and black people who weren't in fact slaves, had an opportunity to prove they weren't before they got hauled off to the plantation in Mississippi.

It was an improvement, and all that the court could do at the time.


  

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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #144 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:31pm
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:17pm:
When Story became a federal judge, he swore to uphold the constitution knowing it protected slavery.

He was actually appointed to the Supreme Court without ever having been a judge, but of course he was aware that the Constitution at that time protected slavery.

I see two clear choices for him-

Refuse to serve as any part of a government whose founding document protected slavery, or become a Supreme Court Justice and try to help preserve the blessings of liberty for everyone else (and maybe get a chance along the way to help free blacks and slaves too). Smiley
  

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Little Biq Man
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #145 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:35pm
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Jeff wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:25pm:
Yes, the state laws were worse. They sent deputized slave catchers into the free states to retrieve escaped slaves. The Fugitive slave act required that only federal magistrates could catch slaves and hold them for return. That meant it was easier to get the courts involved, and black people who weren't in fact slaves, had an opportunity to prove they weren't before they got hauled off to the plantation in Mississippi.

It was an improvement, and all that the court could do at the time.




Right, even slave masters were often humanitarian toward their slaves, treating them well, giving the Christmas presents, teaching their children to respect adult slaves (that's the reason so many black people are nicknamed "Uncle _____" or "Aunt ______," because kids were taught not to call a gown up "Tom" or "Ben.").  Those slaveowners just wanted their property rights protected absolutely.

But, how could he have thought the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional?  Isn't it authorized and almost required by the Fugitive Slave Clause of the constitution?  Here it is so you don't have to look it up.  I mean that as a courtesy, not in any implying you couldn't or wouldn't look it up yourself.

No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.



  
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #146 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:38pm
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Jeff wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:31pm:
He was actually appointed to the Supreme Court without ever having been a judge, but of course he was aware that the Constitution at that time protected slavery.

I see two clear choices for him-

Refuse to serve as any part of a government whose founding document protected slavery, or become a Supreme Court Justice and try to help preserve the blessings of liberty for everyone else (and maybe get a chance along the way to help free blacks and slaves too). Smiley


Or, option C:  Advocate for the banning slavery.


  
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #147 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:51pm
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:38pm:
Or, option C:  Advocate for the banning slavery.




Yes, like you did, a hundred and fifty four years after it ended.  You're quite the innovator on the cutting edge of the issues.  And principled.  I mean how many people oppose slavery in this country?  99.9%?  That's practically no one
  

Contest winner:  I predicted Kaz' meltdown
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Jeff
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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #148 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 2:17pm
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:35pm:
But, how could he have thought the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional?
I believe that the Act originally commandeered state magistrates to do the work of federal magistrates (it may have even said that private citizens were required to catch escaped slaves and turn them over to the authorities), which is unconstitutional.  Hence the requirement in the decision that only federal magistrates could be used to enforce the federal law.
  

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Re: Stories Commentaries
Reply #149 - Nov 17th, 2019 at 2:19pm
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Little Biq Man wrote on Nov 17th, 2019 at 1:38pm:
Or, option C:  Advocate for the banning slavery.


He may have done that. I don't know, but the Supreme Court bench is not the proper forum for that sort of thing.
  

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