abc asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Do any know what the concurring/dissenting opinions for the Dred Scott v. Sanford case were?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Well, in a very compact nutshell. Taney wrote for the majority that Scott, as a descendant of people who were brought to this country as slaves, and sold as slaves, did not meet the definition of citizen accepted at the time the Constitution was ratified. Consequently, he had no right to sue.

    Most of the court, agreed with Chief Justice Taney, though wrote separate opinions. Mr. Justice Wayne and Mr. Justice Campbell wrote concurring opinions. Justices Nelson, Grier, Catron, and Daniel wrote separately in agreement with the Chief Justice.

    Justices McLean and Curtis wrote dissenting opinions.

    Taney's principal argument was that Scott and his family, as slaves and descendants of slaves didn't have the right to sue, because they were not citizens in the view of the framers of the Constitution. He contends that citizenship had not been conferred on descendents of slaves at the time of the ratification of the Constitution.

    McLean argued that neither women nor minors are citizens in the view of the framers, yet they can bring suit in court.

    Curtis, dissented by maintaining that there were jurisdictions in which citizenship was granted to freed slaves. He further argues that there are protections given to the native borne, implying that citizenship can be granted by birth. This could then grant citizenship to the Scotts, because they had all been born in the United States, one child in Iowa, and another in Missouri.

    I have tried getting through these opinions and they are very slow going, I am attaching this page from Cornell nonetheless. There may be errors in what I've said, but I think I caught the gist of what they were saying.

    Click on the HTML links at the top of the page for the other opinions, this page opens on the one by Mr. Justice Curtis.

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