Synopsis by Sarah Ing
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark remembers one of the darker moments in judicial history in Supreme Court Decisions That Changed the Nation: The Dred Scott Decision. When runaway slave Dred Scott sued his owner for freedom in 1857, it forced the Court to define the status of blacks in America once and for all. With a raging debate in every state and the nation on the brink of Civil War, the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were property. This decision advanced the cause of states' rights while effectively eliminating immediate justice for imprisoned African-Americans.