If you are unfamiliar with the notion of slave reparations (yup, a few of my notions about it too) can be seen here.
Federal Appeals Court Rejects Slave Descendants Reparations Claims
The three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that slave descendants have no standing to sue for reparations based on injustices suffered by ancestors and that the statute of limitations ran out more than a century ago.
A group of African-Americans had sued a number of large companies, seeking redress for claims of injury from the effects of their participating in the slave trade. I have yet to decide if this is really an attempt for "social justice" or a shakedown; I am just cynical enough (given that only LARGE companies were sued) to believe it is the latter, with enough of the former for publicity sake (although there may be true believers in this crowd).
As I stated before, not good policy and if this movement ever gets a legal victory, you might as well kiss our legal system goodbye. Why? Just the sheer weight of suits against any company or person with financial wherewithal that could ever be connected to slavery will be at risk.
Then the next stage will start – you think politics is full of rancor now?
The opinion, written by Judge Richard A. Posner, said that "statutes of limitations would be toothless" if descendants could collect damages for wrongs against their ancestors.
The panel also said the descendants lacked standing to sue because their links to the slaves were distant.
And these is one of the most powerful and practical reasons not let this proceed – fraud.
Given that official slavery in the US ended with Lincoln’s Proclamation (and the end of the Civil War), there are no living slave now (140+ years later). Iron clad documentation is severly lacking on one generation to another in many cases.
U.S. District Judge Charles R. Norgle Sr. had dismissed all the claims. He found that the descendants lacked standing and that the statute of limitations had expired, and that the issue was political and shouldn’t be worked out in a court.
Huzzah! An officer of the court respecting what the courts should, and more importantly, should not be doing. Although it would / will put this into a legislative morass, at least in that arena, there would be plentiful debate.
But the panel did keep alive a smaller portion of the suit, claiming that major U.S. corporations may be guilty of consumer fraud if they hid past ties to slavery from their customers.
Descendants claim they have been injured by buying products from companies that concealed the fact that they or their predecessor companies somehow benefited from slavery.
For the life of me, how could anyone be injured by this? Certainly not physically (along the terms of the claim). IMHO, I would have a hard time believing the pyschological harm as well. Oh, to be claimed, that is certain. But to the level requiring legal redress at this point in time? If the purchase was for the exact same product as was produced back then, well, perhaps maybe. Frankly, I’d have a hard time listening about how watching a flat panel would cause someone to be overcome with grief.
In allowing the consumer-protection claims, the appeals court said it knew of no law saying a seller has "a general duty to disclose every discreditable fact about himself."
Yet, in the course of my consulting, I have seen multiple cases of when companies start updating their Terms and Conditions (e.g., the fine print on the back of their paperwork) for vendors and customers) expand them from a page to multiple pages. One or two successful suits of this nature could turn that all around to LOTS of pages. Look at a ladder at your local hardware store if you don’t believe me.
But it added that sellers who misrepresent a product, fearing the loss of buyers who would object to it, are guilty of fraud.
Again, I am mystified by this. How often do you see products being hawked as "slavery free"? I’d be willing to bet that the very first company to do so would be sued for being "rascist".