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Judicial Bombshell: Dred Scott, slave, will remain as one

March 6, 1857, Washington, DC Today, Supreme Court Justice, Roger Taney delivered a high court decision that will finally address the issue of what rights slaves truly have. A slave, Dred Scott, of Missouri, had sued for his freedom. It all began when his owner, Joe Smith, took Scott with him to Wisconsin, where slavery is not permitted, according to the Missouri Compromise. Scott and his lawyers argued that his stay in Wisconsin had made him a free man. Justice Taney himself was a former slave owner that had decided that that institution was immoral. As a result, years earlier, he freed his own slaves. As a result of these actions, many observers believed that he would now free Dred Scott as well. In a shocker to northerners and southerners alike, the high court decided that Scott couldnt sue for his freedom because he was not a citizen, nor could he, or any other African American, slave or free, ever become one. In another surprising development, the court ruled against Scotts argument that his stay in Wisconsin made him a freeman. It was their opinion that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, so slavery can legally exist anywhere in the United States. The ruling went on to say that slaves are property. The 5th amendment says that property cannot be taken from people without due process of law. Banning slavery in territories is the same as taking property away from slaveholders that would like to take their slaves into that territory. That, the court ruled, is unconstitutional. This decision looks to have a lasting impact on American society. It will certainly delight slave owners. Northerners, on the other hand, and abolitionists, in particular, will likely be outraged about the Supreme Courts ruling. Rather than dissipate, one might expect the debate over slavery to become hotter and hotter over the coming months. Said abolitionist, John Brown, I am outraged!!!!!! God put me on this earth to destroy slavery, daggummit, and that is what I intend to do, no matter what the Supreme Court says. Southerners were also quick to share their thoughts. Senator John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, stated, Finally, this issue of slavery is resolved. Our nation can now focus on more relevant issues and move forward with our business.