Apr. 13, 2019

Plessy v Ferguson : The Supreme Court Off The Rails Of Justice 1896

Today's lesson on #joesmokethoughts revolves around the Supreme Court Decision Plessey vs. Ferguson which solidified the second class citizenship status of Americans of African Descent in the United States. The Supreme Court is one of the most powerful agencies in our country. The nine seats that comprise the court has exceptional importance because each seat is a lifetime appointment. Once nominated a justice on the Supreme Court cannot be removed unless that person is impeached by a majority count in the House of Representatives and 2/3 supermajority of the United States Senate. Otherwise, once nominated by the President and approved by a simple majority in the United States Senate, justices serve on the Supreme Court for as long as he/she wants until he/she dies. These members have the capacity to change the course or direction of this country. You need to analyze and review pivotal racial cases that the Supreme Court decided. The absolute worst case decided in 1858 was Roger Taney's courts ruling (Dred Scott Vs Sanford) that blacks in this country whether freed or slaves had no rights for which white people need respect or acknowledge. The Supreme Court ruled 1888 that the Civil Rights Act of 1871 was unconstitutional which basically made the Civil War Constitutional Amendments null and void in every southern state in the country.

The decision I am spending time discussing today on this video is the 1896 Plessey Vs Ferguson. This case impressed upon the country's citizens that racial separation between whites and blacks was not only constitutional but also desired by every aspect of American society. The decision put the final nails in the coffin of Black Reconstruction although Black Reconstruction actually was struck down politically in the Compromise of 1877. The Supreme Court has been the moral voice of this nation since the country's inception. Now we have those nine court seats being controlled by an Executive and Legislative Branch that is not people oriented in the 21st century. It is vital to understand the complexities of the Supreme Court as well as understanding three branches of government and how those branches provide a system of checks and balances to perform effectively. In a period of this country's history when racists implemented policies the court fed the populace decisions based on those philosophies. That is why we have historical judicial decisions like Plessey, Scott, the 1888 decision rulings because of the fact that judges nominated to the court reflected the image of the decision-makers in the White House and the Senate chambers. How is today's Supreme Court going to be reflected in history when you have leaders like Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump responsible for directing the nomination process?