Andrew Napolitano served on the New Jersey Superior Court from 1987 to 1995. Since then, Napolitano has been one of the most libertarian voices on television. A Fox News senior judicial analyst for more than a decade, he has been a scathing critic of governmental abuses no matter which party is in power. In Dred Scott’s Revenge (Thomas Nelson), Napolitano explains how government radically restricted the rights of black Americans. (You can read an excerpt online at reason.com/dred.) reason asked Napolitano to list three ways the federal government has set back race relations.
1 Slavery: “The bitterness here is not just the destruction of the humanity of blacks, but the fact that it was done by the same generation of Founders who declared that all men are created equal.”
2 The Dred Scott decision: “Instead of saying once set free, always set free, the Supreme Court said that blacks are not persons, and therefore cannot file lawsuits and enjoy no protection of the law.”
3 Massive discrimination orchestrated by the federal government: “This catch-all category began under Woodrow Wilson and ended under Richard Nixon, who finally enforced the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It includes the segregation of federal offices, the segregation of the military, the Tuskegee experiment, and Jim Crow, in which the federal government refused to use its powers under the 14th Amendment to stop the administration of two sets of laws for different citizens.”