Jones on Judicial Racism and Judicial Antiracism: Retelling the Dred Scott Story @AUWCL

DeVaughn Jones, American University College of Law, has published Judicial Racism and Judicial Antiracism: Retelling the Dred Scott Story. Here is the abstract.

This Essay retells the Dred Scott story as a set of intersecting stories about judicial racism, judicial antiracism, and judicial feminism. Part I defines an antiracist lexicon from the writings of prominent scholars. Part II uses that lexicon to explore the Dred Scott saga, reframing it as a judicial power struggle between racist and antiracist judges, lawyers, and clients. Part III finally proceeds to the seminal case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Throughout, the reader will observe courts as institutions with racist or antiracist character. This Essay concludes by emphasizing that US courts are still battlegrounds where racist and antiracist ideas compete for realization. There has been no scholarly treatment of judicial racism or antiracism, despite ample academic discussion of race and the law. Therefore, this Essay advances two goals by making the first academic foray into those issues: first, it promotes antiracist lawmaking by opening a space for academic discussion of judicial racism and antiracism; second, it advocates for historically-tested methods of antiracist lawmaking that do not rely on US courts.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.