Friday, June 26, 2009

Dred Scott's Revenge

I was looking to see what was available on Dred Scott and came across this strange title. Napolitano is apparently a Fox commentator, who fancies himself a constitutional law expert having served a few years on the New Jersey Bench. He has been prolific in his titles, arguing the conservative line. I'm not sure how to "read" these texts. Judging by the reviews, it seems Napolitano has a partisan interpretation of the case and how it relates to American race relationships over the years.

The sad part is seeing Juan Williams (who provides a review of this book) attached to so many conservative rags and news programs these days, as I had thought of him as a more liberal voice until some of the comments he made on the O'Reilly Factor.

As Eric Foner noted in his book Who Owns History, there appears to be a redemption taking place in the wake of the Civil Rights legislation of the 60's. He notes the way the Republicans have tried to invert and re-interpret so much of the legislation and the rise of "original intent" in determining the degree of constitutional authority. Seems Napolitano comes from this ideological bent.

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