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  • Writer's pictureMarkie Miller

To Our Readers:

There are so many matters of controversy flying about these days that it's hard to keep up with them all. The Roe v. Wade premature release item is one; the shear idiocy of the voter choices on the Republican side in Ohio is another.

We strike backwards to find that other times have seen similar problems. One of those times was right before the Civil War, when among other things, the Republican Party was being formed.

Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune was directly connected to the beginnings of the Republican Party - in fact he gave it its name - and he was even more intimately connected to the rise of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. Those 2 things - Republicans and Supreme Court - read on this immediate posting.

The Dred Scott decision of 1857 formally Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford, legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on March 6, 1857, ruled (7–2) that a slave (Dred Scott) who had resided in a free state and territory (where slavery was prohibited) was not thereby entitled to his freedom; that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise (1820), which had declared free all territories west of Missouri and north of latitude 36°30′, was unconstitutional. The decision added fuel to the sectional controversy and pushed the country closer to civil war.

Among constitutional scholars, Scott v. Sandford is widely considered the worst decision ever rendered by the Supreme Court. It has been cited in particular as the most egregious example in the court’s history of wrongly imposing a judicial solution on a political problem. The Chief Justice at the time was Roger Taney from Maryland. He delivered the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), ruling that African Americans could not be considered U.S. citizens and that Congress could not prohibit slavery in the U.S. territory

Horace Greeley wrote that Justice Taney’s decision regarding the Dred Scott case carried as much moral weight as a majority vote in “any Washington bar room.”. He wrote the decision was “Southern sophism cloaked with the dignity of our highest court” Heather Cox Richardson quoted Greeley in her newsletter and blog on May 4, 2022. Heather’s point is that Justice Taney designed his decision to please wealthy Southern landowners who wanted to control U.S. expansion and that the Supreme Court in 2022 will design their decision to please the U.S. religious right, as that group seeks to control U.S. government.

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