A musing (A question of fact?)

Doug Edlin edlind at dickinson.edu
Mon Apr 12 09:43:53 PDT 2010


One and the same Joseph Bradley.  /See/ Daniel Ernst, /Legal Positivism, 
Abolitionist Litigation, and the New Jersey Slave Case of 1845/, 4 Law & 
Hist. Rev. 337 (1986).


matthewhpolsci at aol.com wrote:

> Thanks to John Biggers for his report on his students.  I have already 
> thanked him privately, but should do so publicly.  I now turn to a 
> specific question of fact.  In 1845, one Alvan Stewart argued before 
> the New Jersey Supreme Court that slavery was unconstitutional.  One 
> of the cases was _The State_ v. _John A. Post_.  One of the other 
> lawyers was "Joseph P. Bradley, of Newark, Counsel for John A. Post."  
> Is this the same as the later Justice Bradley or are these different 
> persons?
> Matthew Holden, Jr. 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Bickers <bickersj1 at nku.edu>
> To: matthewhpolsci at aol.com; jsr at jsr.net; CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
> Cc: mackhjones at bellsouth.net; pfiffner at gmu.edu; pwass1 at uis.edu; 
> mohanp at uww.edu; ktate at uci.eduic
> Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 10:05 am
> Subject: RE: A musing
> Indeed, it may be the symmetry of these three phases that routinely 
> causes the most surprise for my students.  The most shocking moment 
> for many of them comes upon reading the comment of Justice Bradley 
> that the time has come when freed slaves must stop being "the special 
> favorite of the laws" /in 1883/.
> John Bickers
> Salmon P. Chase College of Law
> Northern Kentucky University
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu 
> <mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu> on behalf of 
> matthewhpolsci at aol.com <mailto:matthewhpolsci at aol.com>
> *Sent:* Mon 4/12/2010 9:59 AM
> *To:* jsr at jsr.net <mailto:jsr at jsr.net>; CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu 
> <mailto:CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu>
> *Cc:* mackhjones at bellsouth.net <mailto:mackhjones at bellsouth.net>; 
> pfiffner at gmu.edu <mailto:pfiffner at gmu.edu>; pwass1 at uis.edu 
> <mailto:pwass1 at uis.edu>; mohanp at uww.edu <mailto:mohanp at uww.edu>; 
> ktate at uci.eduic <mailto:ktate at uci.eduic>
> *Subject:* Re: A musing
> The question is whether to maintain a political-economic-social regime 
> in which white advantage over blacks is the norm and fact.  The 
> question was never whether to create the form of equality with the 
> realities of inequality.  Fifty years ago was 1960, when most of the 
> political and economic reality sustained permanent white advantage.  
> Some groups have in the past fifty years sought means to overcome what 
> otherwise seems a permanent factual subordination for blacks taken as 
> a group.  That is the net effect of the civil rights revolution, so 
> far as achieved.  Others, whom many participants on this list can 
> doubtless identify, have sought a political-economic-social 
> counterattack. 
> More bluntly.  Over the course of American history, the question of 
> the status of persons of African ancestry has been subject to three 
> advances and three counter-attacks.  (1)  In Congress in 1790, the 
> antislavery attack began.  Counterattack 1 was to make the United 
> States safe for slavery.  (2) The Civil War produced formal freedom 
> and formal citizenship.  Counterattack 2 was to establish white 
> supremacy as the national norm, while accepting the Civil War 
> Amendments as ritual,  and was effective at least through the first of 
> the 20th century.  (3)  The civil rights era is well known and 
> Counterattack 3 is the effort to negate so much of its effect and 
> promise as possible. The ways in which such concepts as 
> "discrimination" and "preferences" are employed are good indicators 
> whether one has in mind advance or counterattack.
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Douglas E. Edlin
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013

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