Thursday, April 28, 2016

Further thoughts on the Taney statue matter in Baltimore

There is a recommendation to "de-access" the statue of (former) Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney, who, among other things, authored the "Dred Scott" decision. One notes that seven justices concurred in that decision, with only two firmly opposing it, one of whom later resigned from the court (Benjamin Curtis).

As a footnote to previous posts on this Taney matter, recall that there were slaves resident in the executive mansion during the time of George Washington. From wikipedia:

In late May 21, 1796 one of Martha Washington's slaves, Oney Judge, escaped from the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia, where she lived with the Washingtons during his presidency, serving as Martha's chambermaid


Wolcott, who succeeded Alexander Hamilton to become the second Secretary of the Treasury, was involved in the matter.
Wolcott went to the Litchfield Law School, which produced three justices of the Supreme Court. Curtis, who graduated from Harvard Law, is considered the first Supreme Court justice to have graduated from a now-existent law school (as presently understood). Litchfield also produced two vice-presidents, Burr and Calhoun.

**Separately, from wikipedia, on Taney:

George Ticknor Curtis, one of the lawyers who argued before Taney on behalf of Dred Scott, held Taney in high esteem despite his decision in Dred Scott. In a volume of memoirs written for his brother Benjamin Robbins Curtis, who sat on the Supreme Court with Taney and dissented in Dred Scott,

He was indeed a great magistrate, and a man of singular purity of life and character. That there should have been one mistake in a judicial career so long, so exalted, and so useful is only proof of the imperfection of our nature. The reputation of Chief Justice Taney can afford to have anything known that he ever did and still leave a great fund of honor and praise to illustrate his name. If he had never done anything else that was high, heroic, and important, his noble vindication of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the dignity and authority of his office, against a rash minister of state, who, in the pride of a fancied executive power, came near to the commission of a great crime, will command the admiration and gratitude of every lover of constitutional liberty, so long as our institutions shall endure

**Separately, there is an allusion to Taney's Dred Scott decision in


Post a Comment

<< Home