The US House of Representatives recently voted to remove all Confederate statues from the Capitol building. This includes a bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert B. Taney. Suddenly hearing his name again gave me the chills, like a dark cloud suddenly hiding the sun.
The Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott Decision was the subject of my first serious, footnoted research paper when I was in the 10th grade. The more I learned about it, the angrier I got, passionately appalled that the Supreme Court would make a decision because of politics, not The Truth. Until then, I’d believed that the Supreme Court always made honest, legal, and morally defensible decisions. We had to count on that, didn’t we?
Chief Justice Taney wrote the decision that Dred Scott, a black man, could not be considered a citizen.
The cruelty and racist supremacy of the decision appalled and angered me. I was shocked that the Supreme Court would base a decision
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: “The House is taking a long-overdue and historic step to ensure that individuals we honor in our Capitol represent our nation’s highest ideals and not the worst in its history.”