Fugitive Slave Act
SOURCE: Boston Review
When Abortion is Criminalized, Can Juries Nullify the Law?
by Sonali Chakravarti
Inevitably, a health care provider will be prosecuted under one of the post-Dobbs abortion laws passed by the states. When this happens, will juries be informed by their predecessors who refused to convict defendants charged under the Fugitive Slave Act?
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
What the Antebellum Period Tells Us about the Coming Battles Over Abortion
by Kate Masur
"The history of the 19th century reminds us that arguments for states’ rights, or for federal power, have no intrinsic political or moral valence."
SOURCE: New York Times
Enslaved, Terrorized, Disenfranchised: Black Americans Still Found Ways to Change America (Review)
by Kerri Greenidge
A professor of African diaspora studies reviews two recent books about the antebellum period as part of a scholarly trend to recognize not only that slaves worked to achieve their own freedom but that the acts of fugitive slaves shaped the path to war, emancipation and abolition.
The So-Called ‘Kidnapping Club’ Featured Cops Selling Free Black New Yorkers Into Slavery
by Jonathan Daniel Wells
"It often mattered little whether a black person was born free in New York or had in fact escaped bondage; the police, reinforced by judges like the notorious city recorder Richard Riker, sent the accused to southern plantations with little concern and often even less evidence."
SOURCE: National Park Service
The Constitution and the Underground Railroad: How a System of Government Dedicated to Liberty Protected Slavery
by Paul Finkelman
"As we celebrate Constitution Day, it is important to remember that this document protected slavery and set the stage for the federal government to hunt down and arrest people, whose only crime was the color of their skin and their desire to benefit from “the Blessings of Liberty” that the Constitution claimed it was written to achieve."
The United States of America v. Robert Morris
by Jeffrey Amestoy
The 1851 prosecution of Black attorney Robert Morris for violating the Fugitive Slave Act showed how complicit in the brutality of slavery northern white elites could be.
US v. Sineneng-Smith Echoes the Fugitive Slave Act
by Alan J. Singer
A Supreme Court decision in United States v. Sineneng-Smith that broadens the authority of the federal government to suppress the rights of advocates for undocumented immigrants could divide the nation irreparably.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
Chicago’s resistance to ICE raids recalls Northern states’ response to the Fugitive Slave Act
by Kate Masur
Almost 170 years later, the Fugitive Slave Act is viewed as one of the most repressive federal laws in all of American history.
SOURCE: The Los Angeles Times
There are echoes of the Fugitive Slave Act in today's immigration debate
by Harold Meyerson
Just as the slave catchers argued, speciously, that freed Negroes imperiled the antebellum North, today's anti-immigrant forces, beginning with Trump, argue that immigrants pose a threat to public safety, though crime has fallen precipitously during the past quarter-century.
Resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act Gives Sanctuary Cities a Model for Resistance
by Christopher N. Lasch
Sanctuary cities’ resistance to immigrant rendition, like northern resistance to slave rendition, takes place in that part of the law that is reserved for local action and upon which the federal government cannot intrude.
SOURCE: The Nation
What the Fugitive Slave Act Teaches Us About How States Can Resist Oppressive Federal Power
by Eric Foner
The actions of attorneys general in California and other states have their antecedents in the fight against that draconian law.
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