Who was the Supreme Court Chief Justice in the Dred Scott decision?

1 Answer
Sep 25, 2017

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court when the Dred Scott case was decide.


Chief Justice Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He held the office from 1836 until his death in 1864.

The Dred Scott case, known formally as Dred Scott v. Sandford, was decided in 1857. It stated "a negro, whose ancestors were imported into the U.S., and sold as slaves" whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States.

This case was decided by a 7 - 2 vote with Chief Justice Taney writing the opinion for the majority.

This decision was superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and then by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1868, which gave African Americans full citizenship.