Scott vs. Sanford

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Scott vs. Sanford

Issue: Missouri Compromise and it being constitutional or not which invloves the 5th amendment. Also Article III and IV of the Constitution which states that slaves are not citizens. This case brought on the 14th amendment.

Scott v. Sanford (1857)

Dred Scott

Dred and his wife, Harriet

Background: Dred Scott was a slave who lived in Missouri, his master took him to free territory and after his master died he sued for his freedom rights because he thought since he was on free soil, he was a free man.Issue: Missouri Compromise, the 5th amendment, and Article III and IV of the Constitution. Lead to 14th amendment.Decision: 7-2 in favor of Sanford. The Court ruled that African Americans do not count as citizens of the US and The Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional because is deprives slave owners of the 5th amendment.

Background:Dred Scott was a Missouri Slave who was sold to John Emerson around 1833. He was taken to Illinois and the Wisconsin territory, which are both free states, he stayed there for 10 years before returning to Missouri. Slavery was forbidden in both Illinois and Wisconsin by the Missouri Compromise. Emerson died in 1843 and Scott sued Emerson's widow for his freedom. He claimed that since he lived on free soil for so long, he should be a free man.

Decision:Scott's argument: Once you enter into a free State or territory, the free stage is overrides the slavery state. He said that since he entered Illinois and Wiscoinsin, which are free States and territories, he was now a free man. Sanford's argument: He argued the 5th amendment, which states that "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...". He said that Scott was still a slave and no slave owner's property rights could be taken away from them. Final decision: 7-2 in favor of Sanford. According to the Supreme Court, African Americans, whether they were free or not, were not citizens of the United States. Since Scott was property, he had no right to bring this case to federal court. The Supreme Court also declared The Missouri Compromise unconstitutional because it deprived slave owners the right to take their salves anywhere in the United States.

Chief Justice,Roger B. Taney



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