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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Taney: Good Riddance

 Amy B Wang and Marianna Sotomayor at WP:
The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would remove a bust at the U.S. Capitol of Roger B. Taney, the chief justice who authored the majority Supreme Court opinion protecting slavery in Dred Scott v. Sandford.

The House passed the measure by voice vote, and it now heads to President Biden for his signature. The Senate had passed it by voice vote last week.

If signed into law, as expected, the bill would direct the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to remove Taney’s bust not more than 45 days after the bill is signed into law. The bill would also direct the committee to replace Taney’s bust with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

In 1857, Taney wrote the decision in the case of Scott — a Black man born into slavery who used the courts to demand his freedom — that Black people were not U.S. citizens and could not expect protections from the federal government.