Indiana Gov. Mike Pence2015 Sued For Blocking Syrian Refugees- reminders


Nov 24, 2015
 Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is being sued over his decision to suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees in his state.

Pence is accused of violating the Constitution by accepting refugees from other countries but not those from Syria following last week’s violent terrorist attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.

The federal lawsuit was filed late Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Indianapolis-based nonprofit Exodus Refugee Immigration.

“There is no border around the state of Indiana that prevents people from entering our state who may move freely within the United States,” ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said in a statement.

Pence, 56, had halted Indiana’s plans to resettle Syrian refugees last week after European officials said a Syrian citizen was among the attackers in Paris.

He and 26 other U.S. governors later penned a letter to President Barack Obama on Friday urging him to halt all resettlement plans in the country until proper security measures have been achieved.”

“We are deeply concerned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria may have exploited the generosity of the refugee system to carry out Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris,” the memo said.

Pence did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday.

The U.S. has resettled about 1,800 refugees from Syria so far in 2015, according to the State Department. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the temporary block.

“Indiana is a welcoming state known for our hospitality,” Exodus Executive Director Carleen Miller said. “History will judge us in this moment – whether we take the moral stand for victims of war and persecution in their time of need or reject our core principles by giving in to fear and terror.”

Dred Scott and Roger B. Taney – The human factor in history


Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.

A Page From Our American Story

On March 6, 1857, in the case of Dred Scott v. John Sanford, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that African Americans were not and could not be citizens. Taney wrote that the Founders’ words in the Declaration of Independence, “all men were created equal,” were never intended to apply to blacks. Blacks could not vote, travel, or even fall in love and marry of their own free will — rights granted, according to the Declaration, by God to all. It was the culmination of ten years of court battles — Dred Scott’s fight to live and be recognized as a free man.

The High Court’s decision went even further, declaring laws that restricted slavery in new states or sought to keep a balance between free and slave states, such as the Missouri Compromise, were unconstitutional. In essence, Black Americans, regardless of where they lived, were believed to be nothing more than commodities.

The Taney court was dominated by pro-slavery judges from the South. Of the nine, seven judges had been appointed by pro-slavery Presidents — five, in fact, came from slave-holding families. The decision was viewed by many as a victory for the Southern “Slavocracy,” and a symbol of the power the South had over the highest court.

The dramatic ripple effect of Dred Scott — a ruling historians widely agree was one of the worst racially-based decisions ever handed down by the United States Supreme Court — reached across the states and territories. It sent shivers through the North and the free African-American community. Technically, no black was free of re-enslavement.

Free Blacks, many of whom had been in Northern states for years, once again lived in fear of being hunted down and taken back to the South in servitude. Southern slave laws allowed marshals to travel north in search of escaped slaves. The ruling was such a concern to Free Blacks, that many seriously considered leaving the United States for Canada or Liberia.

The decision played a role in propelling Abraham Lincoln — an outspoken anti-slavery voice — into the White House. The slavery issue had already created a turbulent, volatile atmosphere throughout the nation. Dred Scott, like kerosene tossed onto a simmering fire, played a significant role in igniting the Civil War. The North became ready to combat what it viewed as the South’s disproportionate influence in government.

The court case lives in infamy today, but few people know much about the actual people involved. I suspect Scott and Taney never imagined they would play such powerful roles in our great American story.

Taney was from Maryland, a slave state, but had long before emancipated his slaves and reportedly paid pensions to his older slaves, as well. As a young lawyer he called slavery a “blot on our national character.” What turned Taney into a pro-slavery advocate is not clear, but by 1857, Taney had hardened, going as far as to declare the abolitionist movement “northern aggression.”

It is reported that Dred Scott was originally named “Sam” but took the name of an older brother when that brother died at a young age. Scott was born into slavery in Virginia around 1800 (birth dates for slaves were often unrecorded), and made his way westward with his master, Peter Blow. By 1830, Scott was living in St. Louis, still a slave to Blow. He was sold to Army doctor John Emerson in 1831 and accompanied him to his various postings — including stations in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory (what is now Minnesota).

In 1836, Scott married Harriett Robinson. Reports vary on whether she was a slave of Emerson’s prior to the marriage or Emerson purchased her from another military officer after she and Scott had fallen in love. The series of events underscored the painful and difficult lives slaves led. Love, like everything else, was subject to the vagaries of their owners’ dispositions.

Emerson died in 1843, leaving the Scott family to his wife, Irene. Three years later, Scott tried to buy his freedom, but to no avail. Scott’s only recourse was to file suit against Mrs. Emerson. He did so on April 6, 1846, and the case went to a Missouri court the following year. He would lose this case, but win on appeal in 1850. Emerson won her appeal in 1852, and shortly afterward gave the Scotts to her son, John Sanford, a legal resident of New York. Because two states were now involved, Scott’s appeal was filed in federal court in 1854 under the case name of Dred Scott v. John Sanford, the name that came before Taney in 1857.

History is filled with dramatic and strange twists of irony and fate. Those factors can be found throughout Scott’s battle for freedom. Peter Blow’s sons, childhood friends of Scott’s, paid his legal fees. Irene Emerson had remarried in 1850. Her new husband, Massachusetts Congressman Calvin Chaffee, was anti-slavery. Following Taney’s ruling, the now-Mrs. Calvin Chaffee, took possession of Dred, Harriett and their two daughters and either sold or simply returned the family to the Blows. In turn, the Blows freed the Scotts in May, 1857.

Dred Scott, a man whose name is so deeply-rooted in our history, so linked to the war that would end slavery, would die just five months later of tuberculosis. However, he died a free man.

All the best,

on this day … 3/6 The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision ruled that blacks could not sue in federal court to be citizens


World1521 – Ferdinand Magellan discovered Guam.

1808 – At Harvard University, the first college orchestra was founded.

1820 – The Missouri Compromise was enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed by U.S. President James Monroe. The act admitted Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibited slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.

1834 – The city of York in Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto.

1836 – The thirteen-day siege of the Alamo by Santa Anna and his army ended. The Mexican army of three thousand men defeated the 189 Texas volunteers.

1854 – At the Washington Monument, several men stole the Pope’s Stone from the lapidarium.

1857 – The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision ruled that blacks could not sue in federal court to be citizens.

1886 – “The Nightingale” was first published. It was the first magazine for nurses.

1899 – Aspirin was patented by German researchers Felix Hoffman and Hermann Dreser.

1900 – In West Virginia, an explosion trapped 50 coal miners underground.

1901 – An assassin tried to kill Wilhelm II of Germany in Bremen.

1907 – British creditors of the Dominican Republic claimed that the U.S. had failed to collect debts.

1928 – A Communist attack on Peking, China resulted in 3,000 dead and 50,000 fled to Swatow.

1939 – In Spain, Jose Miaja took over the Madrid government after a military coup and vowed to seek “peace with honor.”

1941 – Les Hite and his orchestra recorded “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise”.

1944 – During World War II, U.S. heavy bombers began the first American raid on Berlin. Allied planes dropped 2000 tons of bombs.

1946 – Ho Chi Minh, the President of Vietnam, struck an agreement with France that recognized his country as an autonomous state within the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.

1947 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the contempt conviction of John L. Lewis.

1947 – Winston Churchill announced that he opposed British troop withdrawals from India.

1947 – The first air-conditioned naval ship, “The Newport News,” was launched from Newport News, VA.

1957 – The British African colonies of the Gold Coast and Togoland became the independent state of Ghana.

1960 – Switzerland granted women the right to vote in municipal elections.

1960 – The United States announced that it would send 3,500 troops to Vietnam.

1964 – Tom O’Hara set a new world indoor record when he ran the mile in 3 minutes, 56.4 seconds.

1967 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced his plan to establish a draft lottery.

1970 – Charles Manson released his album “Lies” to finance his defense against murder charges.

1973 – U.S. President Richard Nixon imposed price controls on oil and gas.

1975 – Iran and Iraq announced that they had settled their border dispute.

1980 – Islamic militants in Tehran said that they would turn over American hostages to the Revolutionary Council.

1981 – Walter Cronkite appeared on his last episode of “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.” He had been on the job 19 years.

1981 – U.S. President Reagan announced a plan to cut 37,000 federal jobs.

1982 – National Basketball Association history was made when San Antonio beat Milwaukee 171-166 in three overtime periods to set the record for most points by two teams in a game. The record was beaten on December 13, 1983 by the Pistons and the Nuggets when they played to a final score of 186-184

1983 – The United States Football League began its first season of pro football competition.

1985 – Yul Brynner played his his 4,500th performance in the musical “The King and I.”

1987 – The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in the Channel off the coast of Belgium. 189 people died.

1990 – In Afghanistan, an attempted coup to remove President Najibullah from office failed.

1990 – The Russian Parliament passed a law that sanctioned the ownership of private property.

1991 – In Paris, five men were jailed for plotting to smuggle Libyan arms to the Irish Republican Army.

1992 – The last episode of “The Cosby Show” aired. The show had been on since September of 1984.

1992 – The computer virus “Michelangelo” went into effect.

1997 – A gunman stole “Tete de Femme,” a million-dollar Picasso portrait, from a London gallery. The painting was recovered a week later.

1997 – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II launched the first official royal Web site.

1998 – A Connecticut state lottery accountant gunned down three supervisors and the lottery chief before killing himself.