Chief Justice Taney's Decision - The South Secured in Her Rights

    Source citation
    "Chief Justice Taney's Decision - The South Secured in Her Rights," Memphis (TN) Appeal, March 17, 1857, p. 2.
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    Memphis (TN) Appeal
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    Chief Justice Taney's Decision - The South Secured in Her Rights
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    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake
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    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    We have previously spoken of this important adjudication. This morning we publish in full the learned and imposing opinion of the Supreme Court, as pronounced by Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott case, which, by reason of the important principles involved, has recently claimed so much of the attention of the press. It is said that the venerable Justice who gave the opinion of the Court, has signified his desire to retire from the Bench, but was unwilling to surrender the ermine which he had honored and dignified for near a quarter of a century, until he had entered on record his opinion upon this, the most important subject that has every come before the highest judicature of the United States.

    It will be observed that two important points were decided; one having reference to the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise, and the other the citizenship of the negro, and his right to appear as a party in the Supreme Court. Both points are adjudicated in the nervous and conclusive manner which the Chief Justice has ever been remarkable, which, while it strengthens the Southern States by giving assurance that the Constitution is to be faithfully administered, will also go far, if anything can, to give quiet to the slavery agitation.

    Yet it must not be supposed all the fanatical agitators will abide by this decision. The following taken from the New York Tribune, indicates the revolutionary course which some of them are prepared to take:

    "The Slavery question has at length found its way into the Supreme Court in all its length and breadth, and that body has fully justified all predictions and all anticipations that the system would find therein a home and a bulwark. The members of that body have done for it all that was ever alleged they would do by those who, like John P. Hale, have always considered and characterized that Court as the 'Citadel of Slavery.'

    "Alas! that the character of the Supreme Court of the United States, as an impartial judicial body, has gone. It has abdicated its past functions and descended into the political arena. It has sullied its [illegible]; it has dragged and polluted its garments in the filth of Pro-Slavery politics. From this day forth it must stand in the inexorable judgment of impartial history as a self-disgraced tribunal. And from this day forth it will be one of the great and leading aims of the people of the Free States to obliterate the shameful record, and undo what it has done. What has been done will be undone. For that Court, instead of planting itself upon the immutable principles of justice and righteousness, has chosen to go upon a temporary and decaying foundation. If there is such a thing as Eternal Justice in the Universe, that foundation must crumble and fall, and carry all who repose upon it into inevitable ruin.

    "The Court decides that the Constitution of the United States recognizes property in man, and that under it and by force of it, human Slavery is rationalized, and must be protected and defended in its spread and perpetuation whithersoever that Constitution is carried and is legitimately in force.

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