The Missouri House voted on Wednesday to formally condemn the Missouri Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. The resolution, HCR4, passed by a 152-0 vote after a tearful speech by the bill's sponsor, Representative Raychel Proudie (D-Ferguson). Proudie, a descendant of slaves, stated that the bill was not a small gesture. “This is not small. It took an intra country war for me to be State Representative Raychel Proudie.”
In the 1852 decision, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that Dred and Harriet Scott did not have a legal right to their freedom, even though they had lived for several years with their owner in the free states of Illinois and Wisconsin before being brought back to Missouri. The case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the state court ruling was affirmed. The MCC testified in support of the resolution and hopes that recognizing the error of these court decisions in denying the equal dignity of the Scotts as human beings made in the image and likeness of God will help begin to heal the longstanding wounds from slavery that have plagued Missouri and the U.S.
Representative Proudie’s emotional speech on the Missouri House floor can be found here.