The Volokh Conspiracy

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The Dred Scott Podcast You Didn't Know You Needed

A good listen for those who want to know more about the infamous case.


Last month, a New Yorker article prompted discussion about the teaching of Dred Scott v. Sandford and other cases concerning slavery and racial subjugation in Constitutional Law classes.

The discussion of Dred Scott also prompted Anastasia Boden and Elizabeth Slattery at the "Dissed" podcast to produce an excellent episode on the case, "Your Obedient Servant, B.R. Curtis." The episode features historical background, key opinion excerpts, and commentary from Jeffrey Rosen, Mark Graber, Earl Maltz, Tim Huebner. It is a tremendous resource for those who want to know more about the case and all it got wrong.

For what it's worth, I am firmly in the camp that Dred Scott should be taught and have always taught Dred Scott as part of the basic Constitutional Law class, though it can be hard to do justice to the case's importance in a the time allowed. The entire case, including the essential dissenting opinions, is monstrously long. Should I be teaching Constitutional Law again, I will definitely include this podcast episode as supplemental material.