Incentivizing Oppression, Then and Now
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to the slaver and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate:
“In response to the weakening of the original Fugitive Slave Act, Senator James M. Mason of Virginia drafted the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which penalized officials who did not arrest someone allegedly escaping from slavery, and made them liable to a fine of $1,000 (equivalent to $31,110 in 2020). Law enforcement officials everywhere were required to arrest people suspected of escaping enslavement on as little as a claimant’s sworn testimony of ownership. Habeas corpus was declared irrelevant, and the Commissioner before whom the fugitive from slavery was brought for a hearing—no jury was permitted, and the alleged refugee from enslavement could not testify—was compensated $10 if he found that the individual was proven a fugitive, and only $5 if he determined the proof to be insufficient. In addition, any person aiding a fugitive by providing food or shelter was subject to six months’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Officers who captured a fugitive from slavery were entitled to a bonus or promotion for their work.
Enslavers needed only to supply an affidavit to a Federal marshal to capture a fugitive from slavery. Since a suspected enslaved person was not eligible for a trial, the law resulted in the kidnapping and conscription of free Blacks into slavery, as suspected fugitive slaves had no rights in court and could not defend themselves against accusations.”
The Texas Anti Abortion Law
Instead of requiring public officials to enforce the law, this law allows individuals to bring civil lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone else found to “aid or abet” illegal abortions.
Anyone who successfully sues an abortion provider under this law could be awarded at least $10,000. And to prepare for that, Texas Right to Life has set up what it calls a “whistleblower” website where people can submit anonymous tips about anyone they believe to be violating the law.
The Texas law is an anti abortion industry law in that it provides and allows for civil action to be taken against ANYONE who makes money pursuant to providing an abortion.
Read the bill for yourself at:
Like its 1850 precursor re slavery, this law is not as much about abortion as it is about oppression.
The similarities between the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Texas Anti Abortion Law of 2021 are striking, even if unintentional
Nevertheless, it makes one wonder about the sources from which the purveyors of contemporary oppression draw their legislative fodder…
The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision has been characterized as the worst decision ever rendered in the history of American jurisprudence.
“Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court held that the United States Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for people of African descent, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free; and so the rights and privileges that the Constitution confers upon American citizens could not apply to them.”
In its decision to sustain the Texas Anti Abortion Law, the Supreme Court has given us a constitutional and jurisprudential train wreck of such historic proportion that the US Congress will be moved to pass legislation sufficient to counter the impact and effect of the Court’s monumental judicial failure.
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