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Two of the three most infamous Supreme Court decisions were erased by events. The Civil War and postwar constitutional amendments effectively overturned Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which held that blacks could never have rights that whites must respect. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which upheld legally enforced segregation, was undone by court decisions and legislation.

Korematsu v. United States (1944), which affirmed the president’s wartime power to sweep Americans of disfavored racial groups into concentration camps, elicited a 1988 congressional apology.

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