Statue Battle Over Dred Scott Justice Could Go To Court

Dec 6, 2016

Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney
Credit government photograph

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A court battle is brewing over the city of Frederick's plan to rid City Hall of a statue of the man who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery.

Three people have filed a petition for judicial review of the local historic commission's Oct. 13 decision approving the removal from a City Hall courtyard of the bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney (TAW-nee), and a nearby bust of Maryland's first governor, Thomas Johnson, who owned slaves.

City aldermen voted in 2015 to remove the Taney statue, which some find offensive.

No hearing date is set. The petition was filed in Frederick County Circuit Court Nov. 15.

The Taney statue was erected in 1931. He practiced law in Frederick before becoming the nation's fifth chief justice.