Rep. Lesch Teams Up with Saint Paul Police Chief to Abolish Slavery from the MN Constitution

Chief Todd Axtell came up with an idea far overdue: to abolish slavery from the MN Constitution. Minnesota came into the Union as a free state and, in fact, the State Constitution abolishes all forms of slavery or involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. But slavery shold never be acceptable - even as punishmnt for a crime.

Over hundreds of years, philosophers and clergy posited dozens of different "logical" justifications for slavery, including for the use of slave labor to build our most famous government buldings like the White House an the US Capitol. The most prominent excuse among them (though its relation to the transalatic slave trade was superfluously thin by the late 1700s) was that slavery was morally acceptable for "prisoners taken captive in a just war."  For brevity's sake, I'll decline to break that down here, but suffice it to say that, by the time of our nation's Civil War, most everyone knew that excuse had far outlived any serious pretense.  That excuse was poor 154 years ago, and "due process of law" is a poor excuse to keep slavery viable today.

This is why I will draft and submit a proposal to ban any slavery exception written in to our Minnesota Constitution. It's an idea whose time has come, and I thank Chief Axtell for taking the lead on it.

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