Dred Scott v. Sandford | Homework Help from the Bill of Rights Institute
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The Dred Scott Case
Constitution Hall Pass: Dred Scott v. Sandford
Meet Dred Scott for Black History Month: featured Cartoon for Kids with Dred Scott (Black History)
Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), also known as the Dred Scott case or Dred Scott decision, was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on U.S. labor law and constitutional law. It held that "a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves," whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen, and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott, an enslaved man of "the negro African race" who had been taken by his owners to free states and territories, attempted to sue for his freedom. In a 7–2 decision written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the court denied Scott's request. The decision was only the second time that the Supreme Court had ruled an Act of Congress to be unconstitutional.
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