- March 6, 1857, Dred Scott, a black slave who had lived with his master in Illinois for 5 years, sued for his freedom on the basis of his long residence on free soil.
- The Supreme Court wanted to throw out the case, on grounds that Dred Scott was a slave and not a citizen, and could not sue in federal courts. But people wanted this case to go further.
- Chief Justice Taney ruled that because a slave was private property, he/she could be taken into any territory and legally be held in slavery. (Backed by 5th amendment: Congress couldn't take away property without due process of law).
- Taney also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise (no longer in use) unconstitutional - Congress had no power to ban slavery from the territories.
- Let's look at the root cause of this decision for a second. Who made idiot Taney Supreme Court Justice? Oh yeah, Andrew Jackson. And although John Marshall was immortal and should have remained Supreme Court Justice for eternity, Jackson forced him on the Trail of Tears with the Cherokees. During this long, rugged journey, random strobe lights began to flash and exposed John Marshall's only weakness: epilepsy. He died of a seizure on that stormy October afternoon. Taney was soon sworn in as justice, and a proslavery lunatic took control of the Judiciary Branch. Nasty.
- Please disregard the above story. Although it is completely true, I'm not sure Mrs. Cashion will accept it, as it is not a widely accepted theory. Thank you (:
- Anyway, results of Dred Scott Decision: Disunited North and South wings of Democratic Party. Republicans were infuriated. North refused to honor this as a decision, merely a proslavery opinion. South wondered how much they could stay joined to a Union that didn't honor the (idiot) Supreme Court. Promoted DISUNION!
Dred Scott Case