Slavery Reparations Lawsuit (Update)

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John Friedman writes: At a recent hearing before the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, attorneys for slave descendants asked a three-judge panel to send their slavery reparations suit back for a further hearing to the US district court. A judge there had dismissed it last year, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired and that the plaintiffs had no legal standing. The twenty plaintiffs include Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the attorney who first uncovered a corporate link to slavery, and Cain Wall, a 108-year-old man who was enslaved on plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana from birth until his escape in the 1960s. More than fifteen defendants are named in the class- action lawsuit, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Absent at the hearing in Chicago was Judge Ann Claire Williams, the only African-American on the court. She had recused herself, according to a court clerk. The plaintiffs' lawyers asked the all-white, all-male panel to disqualify itself and were told to file a formal motion. Williams refused to comment.

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