Document Type


Publication Date



Cleveland-Marshall Law College

Institution Location

Cleveland, Ohio


The point of my talk is that our founders, who our tradition praises profusely of course, as men on Mount Olympus, had moral blinders on. I'm going to talk about key founders. Then I'm going to talk about the key English case, decided in 1772, Somerset v. Stuart. Then I'm going to talk about the Compromises of the 1770s and 1780s. Then I'm going to talk about what we can and can't learn from history. Then I'm going to consider what our generation is doing in the 21st century, considering what might shock our own descendants, two hundred years from now. What moral blinders does our generation have, which permit us to find much that is repugnant, on the one hand, and yet take little, if any action to eliminate it, on the other?