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NPR: The Political Perils Of Citing America’s Peculiar Institution

Citing American slavery to make a point about contemporary politics can be downright tricky business, as some public figures have recently learned firsthand.

Take Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who’s running for the Senate seat previously held by Secretary of State John Kerry. He caused a kerfuffle by citing, in the same breath, the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United campaign-finance decision and the opinion of a much earlier court, the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision. In that case, the court told a black man seeking to be freed from slavery that he had no constitutional right to sue for his freedom.

Read more at NPR here.

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Citizens United