Taney bust

After nearly two decades of discussion about Frederick’s Roger Brooke Taney statue, words turned into action Thursday as elected officials approved a resolution to move the figure away from City Hall.

The Board of Aldermen’s unanimous decision Thursday sets in motion a process that could lead to removing the small bronze bust from the park outside the North Court Street building, where it has rested for nearly a century.

Removal isn’t guaranteed yet. First, other commissions will be asked for their input on possibly relocating the statue — in the context of both historic preservation and artistic significance.

Since Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak introduced the proposal in August, there has been pointed debate — and, most recently, an act of vandalism. Red paint was poured over the statue this past weekend. The Frederick Police Department is investigating and has released surveillance video frames that appear to show the unidentified culprits.

Kuzemchak advocated for the bust’s removal based on Taney’s role as author of the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Dred Scott v. Sandford case. As the fifth chief justice of the United States, Taney wrote the opinion that African-Americans could not sue in federal court because they were not entitled to the same rights as American citizens.

The bronze bust was built and placed in front of the building in 1931, when the building served as the Frederick County Courthouse, as a tribute to the 20 years Taney spent practicing law in Frederick before moving to more prominent roles.

More than a statue

Supporters and opponents of the resolution said the decision represents far more than the relocation of a statue on city property. Supporters likened the bust’s presence on city property to a symbol of racism, white supremacy and even hate speech.

“To continue to brandish such hate speech is an ultimate pronouncement that black lives do not matter,” said Willie Mahone, an African-American city resident and attorney.

Frederick resident David Key related the statue to the discrimination he experienced growing up as a black resident of Frederick County, including the presence of segregated restrooms at The Great Frederick Fair.

Alderman Phil Dacey agreed that the statue has become a symbol, one that misrepresents Frederick’s history as pro-Union during the Civil War, as well as its future.

And Alderman Josh Bokee highlighted the symbolism of City Hall in relation to the statue.

“This is the people’s house,” Bokee said. “It should be a beacon of welcome; it should be a beacon of progress; it should be a beacon of ... all that local government should be and can be.”

Those against the resolution, in turn, framed the statue as part of history.

“History is history, and we need to learn from history,” said Deborah Katz Pueschel, a Maryland native now living in Jacksonville, Florida, who said she is a direct descendant of Taney.

Reflecting on previous city discussion of the topic, Frederick Community College history professor Michael Powell said city officials and residents incorrectly relayed several points about Taney and the Dred Scott case. Powell questioned whether officials had researched the topic adequately in preparation for the vote.

“I think if all of us had done that, we would find the question is really broader than Roger Brooke Taney,” Powell said. “This is about politics.”

The presence of an older statue of Taney at the Maryland State House has been questioned, too, but that statue has remained. Plaques have been added to give a fuller picture of the history.

Process contested

In discussion before Thursday’s vote, Frederick officials emphasized that adopting the resolution doesn’t ensure the statue’s removal, or that it will happen immediately. Because City Hall is part of the Frederick Town Historic District, changes to the exterior, including sculptures, must be reviewed and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.

Officials also said they wanted the Public Arts Commission to weigh in on the decision given the statue’s significance as a creation of Frederick artist and architect Joseph Urner, who also designed the C. Burr Artz Public Library.

Bokee asked if the final decision should come from the Board of Aldermen, as an elected body.

O’Connor responded by questioning Bokee’s commitment to his oath of office, saying his proposal went against the city’s laws and processes.

Kuzemchak agreed that, as city legal staff have advised, the aldermen can only pass legislation, which Mayor Randy McClement must advance with approvals from other city boards.

For the aldermen to overstep their power or city processes would be “asking for trouble that does not exist,” Kuzemchak said. But the board’s unanimous support for the resolution would certainly hold influence with those overseeing the next steps, she said.

As part of the adopted resolution, the Taney statue will not be moved until those subsequent steps occur. Future discussion will also include a possible setting for a new home for the statue.

Follow Nancy Lavin on Twitter: @Nancy_Lavin228.

Nancy Lavin covers social services, demographics and religion for The Frederick News-Post.

(103) comments

ddegrangejr

I have an idea! Lets just remove and get rid of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that has to do with history and re write it and restart it from this point on... Get rid of anything that has to do with slavery and the civil war and while we are at it lets get rid of anything to do with the Revolutionary War also... I hear the Brits are still mad at us for that and I wouldn't want anyone to be offended.

Do we have any statues of the Brits honored in Frederick?

The tyrant Brits losted and the oppressive slave holding Confederates losted so what's there to rewrite?

gabrielshorn2013

Um...the northern states were slave-holding too. New Jersey didn't officially abolish slavery until 1865, the same as Maryland.

Comment deleted.
DeDeuceCoupe32

10 to 1 says those consumers drive a 4 wheel drive truck sporting a gun rack. beer of choice is Budweiser and are diehard Republicans with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker on the back bumper.

FrederickVeteran

Wow a local IT company doing business with DoD has racist employees harassing military families.

FrederickVeteran

I would like to purchase the statute and put in my front yard to show my appreciation for Taney's contribution to igniting the Civil War which allowed the Union and slaves to defeat the insurgency and free other slaves to create the greatest nation ever in spite of a continuing confederate threat today which has infiltrated our government.

Comment deleted.
FrederickVeteran

I don't have a POV I drive a vehicle from the government motor pool.

MAVRICKinc7

Is that a WWII model of the JEEP?

Comment deleted.
FrederickVeteran

Thanks for your IP address!

DickD

Not a bad idea. Makes more sense than most I have seen here.

FrederickVeteran

I understand the angst and despair that many white supremacists must feel removing the symbol of their racial privilege and entitlement will cause them by removing the Taney bust. I do believe that this chronic racial psychosis is cover under Obamacare or Medicare.

Charles_Nelson_Reilly

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H. L. Mencken

public-redux

Mencken! Right about so many things.

DickD

I really do not care what they do with the Taney statue.

MAVRICKinc7

Haven't YOU made that abundantly clear in prior comments that you "really don't care?" Didn't WE already know this going in to this conversation/ exchange?

DickD

For the same reason the FNP keeps putting this on here, Mav. Glad you are keeping track.

DeDeuceCoupe32

Put his bust at the city water treatment plant and see how many folks refuse to flush in protest.

elymus43

Hopefully Frederick city will stop living the past.

MAVRICKinc7

Isn't it more like Frederick RELIVING the past. Didn't the ALL white Supreme Court of 1857 decide the Dred Scott, much along the same line that ALL WHITE Frederick government is trying to make history into sound bite messaging, about how WHITE Frederick and Frederick County are today? Isn't this more like history repeating itself, WITHOUT a single minority member of our citizen population having any say in the matter on what we, as a City and County, really are and represent today as all the yesterdays you care to ADMIT to, since 1775, and that White America continues to oppress those of color, and the same voting blocks that were renouned when the poll tax was invented by the White population? All you have to do is reach back to the last presidential election and the Republican's special need to exclude minority voting with something as simple as having a driver license for the sake of and strategic maniulation for winning the WHITEHOUSE back from a minority member of America who took the Whitehouse and soon pitted against the same kind of oppression that the Frederick City, all white government, are attempting to do now by removing a historic statue that resembles and acts as a reminder to ALL that WE haven't changed one iota for the last 300 years? If we're going to change at all, We need to mix it up with reality that Frederick City governance has announced with their unanimous decision to see the Taney statue religated to historic OBFUSCATION.

Based on current reporting of last nights decision, I can't tell. from where I'm seated, what is being presented here that rises above, spin, speculation, and an artful TEASE or another movie trailer trying to sell as many tickets as possible BEFORE the final decision is ever made or comes out for a FINAL vote. This current coverage appears more directed at others to make a decision FOR City Governance and allowing government elected officials and their operatives a back door to escape from, when voting season comes around, and being blamed, each and everyone of them, as white supremist conducting the same business as our Supreme Court did in 1857. Until we are able to change over to DIVERSITY, we are always going to represent the worst in US that walks around town in white robes and pointy hats, except WE get to hide our subtle discrimination, bigotry and segregation behind words and thoughts we rarely share with anyone, from one generation of whites to the next.

Dwasserba

Reading that Taney family showed up put me in mind of being invited to a tribute for a relative of mine who died in 1949 in OR. I was/am his US biographer so I was asked for copies of certain papers and documents and to thank on behalf of family. I complied with all requests but the thank you was read in my absence. It does not take a lot of research to learn he was a self-described friend of the Kaiser. There was no memorial to him anywhere in the US, which I noted as the closing to biographical information. A fact. But given the reality of one, I had mixed feelings and remained personally neutral. Maybe he deserved the tribute. Maybe not. But I still think family opinion should not be a factor. Of *course* I am impressed with his accomplishments I spent ten years researching and documenting. How could I possibly be objective.

MAVRICKinc7

Once you encounter "mixed feelings" it's not about being NEUTRAL. It's about being SILENCED as much as history has been twisted and mangled for purposes of people with thin skins avoiding reality, just as we are witnessing here with our own local government.

olefool

Whaddaya think... Ya think the Aldermen will order the police to stand down on arresting and prosecuting those thugs that defaced the Taney bust??? Ya think the Aldermen are letting themselves be bullied by the BLM movement???? Ya think the aldermen are namby wimps when it comes to representing the majority of their constituents???

DickD

Yes!

MAVRICKinc7

I'll start with "namby whimps" first. Black lives Matter is nothing more than a white mans distraction from their own participation in discrimination, bigotry and segregation TODAY. Since the aldermen are all white what should black lives matter to them. They are simply running away from their ancestors participation in the Dred Scott decision, with this latest manipulative strategy and using the Taney Statue as a means to obfuscate history and the consequences that have followed white America and its blatant bigotry, to this day, as well as with the people of color who, TODAY, have another outbreak of Black Lives Matter and the SAME waring strategy that took place, to gain their freedom, while aboard a slavery ship, 100's of years ago. Now we have people of color, including white, religated to Reservations, Black ghettos and "turf" societies found everywhere in our nation. Think of Frederick as just another plantation of old, where the white man rules and merely tolerates those of color who have no chance of ever being free from white mans prejudice, or being diversified enough to assume a leadership role in REGIONAL government. Even the NAACP is run by white culture and mentalities. Even Ron Young lead the NAACP for years, and recently turned over to another white guy with spunk.

Simply said, when will diversity ever make its way to the podium and have a VOICE in matters that count most to them and their communities. After all, there is just so much white wash to be had, even in Frederick and Frederick County.

DickD

I have to respectfully disagree with you, Mav. Most of us do care and the color of the skin does not matter. Those supporting Trump would disagree with me, I am sure.

MAVRICKinc7

What PART of US are you refering to? Your WORDS from past and present do not support this distraction, which for decades have weighed heavily against your feigned representations of caring when you have demonstrated repeatedly that your postured positions are politically necessary and playing both sides of the same fence against the other. Please feel free to disagree with me all you want, but the bottom line remains the same.

vicdavy

Put Bobby on your yard,folks along with your Confederate Flag! Public property should not be where glorification of evil should be displayed! Why do White people have such a hard time accepting America's Hypocrisy. The silver lining is that this is another "teachable moment" in the Purging of America!

TINAE

Amen my brotha, Amen!

DeDeuceCoupe32

"Teachable moment"? Sorry Vic, but we are not training elephants here. Humans have very short memories.

MAVRICKinc7

NO, we're not training elephants, but instead, herded cattle and a "Nation of Sheep" looking only for 3 meals and a pillow to lay their heads on and being fattened up for the next slaughter pin they have chosen by proxy vote.

vicdavy

[thumbup] MAV

jwhamann

It's been nice seeing you everyday, Roger. We've gotten pretty close, you and I. Remember last winter when I took your photo the day when the freezing rain left all those icicles hanging from face? We sure had a good laugh about that. I'll come and say goodbye. I don't want to see any tears, though. I'll probably never see you again after the day put you under house arrest...in YOUR old home. There're just going to place you in some dark, dank corner and let the dust pile up. Nobody will want to come visit since you be so far off the beaten path. Who wants to go out of their way four or five blocks from City Hall? Not many.... :(

Dwasserba

With my husband and child, I did, before the new exhibits and after. He is part of the history if you grow up here. We weren't alone. People go.

DickD

True!

MD22JRM

Basically Frederick Officials are saying that the general public can just decide they don't like something vandalize and then government officials will take action. It's amazing what democracy has turned into in the 21st century. Alexis de Tocqueville who visited right by that area would appealed.

MAVRICKinc7

What kind of DEMOCRACY are you refering to? When was the last time you were ever ALLLOWED to witness democracy, or "due process" that hasn't otherwise been designed to take your rights away, and mostly through our government's consent agendas and scripted public meetings?

DickD

How about a Republic with guided Democracy? lol

MAVRICKinc7

YOU know as well as I do that Democracy is working its way to extinction. We are a REPUBLIC, but what if anything does that have to do with Democracy and due process? Just because you're willing to live the LIE is of no consequence to me or my willingness painting outside the lines you conform to and are so addicted to.

RetiredFPDLt

I am so disappointed with this vote. You have chosen to ignore all the great things accomplished by this man because one of the things he did goes against the opinion of the modern day. You are swayed so easily to protect your current political positions I can’t believe it. Your line of thinking is inconsistent. Thomas Jefferson had slaves, so did George Washington. John Adams was against slavery, or so history claims since he never owned any, but he was against the abolitionist movement, 13 Presidents of the United States owned slaves. My point is where is all the anger towards these men? Why aren’t we removing their busts that for some are everywhere? We name schools after them, roads after them, communities after them, not because they were slave owners or were against the abolitionist movement but because they were men who molded and shaped our country into what it is today and guess what, that includes their shortcomings and poor decisions. Today we are able to see that the decision made by Roger Brook Taney was severely flawed and wrong but I am not about to condone the removal of his bust in front of city hall because a few citizens want to make it all about them. What about the rest of us who aren’t racist, who aren’t bigots, who aren’t afraid of our country’s past, and who don’t chose to relegate the bust of Roger Brook Taney to the closet because he made a major error in his life. If that is the rule by which we are judging each other, none of us will have our busts anywhere no matter what we do well in this life. Unbelievable.

BstD59

Well thought out argument. I agree entirely with your position.

tgrace

Can you share some of the "the great things accomplished by this man" with us?

I have never heard any others mentioned only the infamous decision.

Dwasserba

20 year distinguished law career in Frederick.

gabrielshorn2013

well, there is United States v. Libellants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad, also known as the Amistad case, where the Taney Court ruled the the slaves aboard the vessel were kidnapped free men from Africa, and were set free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._The_Amistad

tgrace

That case just amplifies the depravity of the Scott decision. In the Amistad case the court ruled that because the international slave trade was illegal, persons escaping should be recognized as free. That right did not convey to slaves owned in the US.

I cant believe anyone who has studied Taney history would support him. He was an activist partisan judge, unabashedly pro slavery, and a man who considered blacks inferior to whites and illustrates it in the Scott decision. If you would like some juicy quotes of his I would be happy to provide them.

MCEDDE21

Wikipedia, op. cit: " It was an unusual freedom suit that involved international issues and parties, as well as United States law...
"In 1840, a federal district court found that the transport of the kidnapped Africans across the Atlantic on the slave ship Tecora* was in violation of laws and treaties against the international slave trade by Great Britain, Spain and the United States. The captives were ruled to have acted as free men when they fought to escape their illegal confinement. The Court ruled the Africans were entitled to take whatever legal measures necessary to secure their freedom, including the use of force. Under international and sectional pressure, U.S. President Martin Van Buren ordered the case appealed to the Supreme Court. It affirmed the lower court ruling on March 9, 1841, and authorized the release of the Africans, but overturned the order of the lower court that they be returned to Africa at government expense."

Wikipedia, Roger Brooke Taney: "The Taney Court also presided over the case of slaves who had taken over the Spanish schooner Amistad. Fellow Justice Joseph Story wrote the Court's decision and opinion. Taney sided with Story's opinion but left no written record of his own in regard to the Amistad case."

*It seems that the word "Tecora" is an error in the context of the original Wikipedia article.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B._Taney

dk1977

He also ruled against Lincoln when he suspended the writ of habeas corpus in parts of Maryland. Lincoln and the army ignored him basically. It was a pretty major stance.

tgrace

Maybe these as some of the other "great things" you are referring to ?

from wikipedia "Among Taney's opinions as attorney general, two revealed his stand on slavery: one supported South Carolina's law prohibiting free blacks from entering the state, and one argued that blacks could not be citizens."

Dwasserba

The decision goes beyond "owned slaves" though. Freemen who were black were officially declared inferior.

DickD

Yes, and that was true in the north, where Abolitionists lived too. In Lewis County New York, situated between the Adirondack Mt. s on one side and the Tug Hill Plateau on the other, the 1825 census did not count blacks as a full citizen. It really surprised me as the area has well known sites that were on the Underground Railroad, going north to Canada, and there was much sympathy for blacks.

The problem we all have is inability to understand life in the early 1800's. It wasn't easy for anyone.

MAVRICKinc7

Is it any easier NOW for people of color to find EQUALITY against the white tide of bigotry, discrimination, and segregation ? The problem is not about our INABILITY to understand life in the 1800. The fact is, WE do understand, but refuse to acknowledge then and NOW, after having a 200 year head start to stop paying lipservice to our past and start doing something about it. Did you find anyone sympathcizing with the Baltimore black community that evolved into Black Lives Matter, in the year 2015. What is it abvout the term SANCTIMONIOUS that you fail to comprehend, much less the same black struggle we are confronted with, without interruption, from the 1800's and today? Why not tell US what you really think and believe today about the community of color and what it has represented for the last 300 years, Or, must we wait again for YOU to be SURPRISED by the reality that Black Lives do matter and have mattered for centuries?

MCEDDE21

"Why aren’t we removing their busts (those of the 13 slave-owning presidents) that for some are everywhere?" Perhaps because the good they did for SOCIETY outweighed the sins of their personal lives--unlike Taney.

gabrielshorn2013

so how many gold stars does it take to overcome a bad mark? 10? 100?500? or is it a sliding scale?

MAVRICKinc7

It's more about a bell curve than a sliding scale. We have one extreme thought that pretends to govern the massive middle, with another extreme at the other end playing games with words and the emotions of the middle of the bell curve who are so easily lead by the noses by one extreme or another extreme. This is the same WHITE AMERICA that went along with the Dred Scott decision for over a hundred years before we went to war over two EXTEMES that turned out to be a very poor business decision and using slave labor as an excuse, so we can have reinactments on what we call hallowed ground where 600,000 of our own were lost to a proposition that has yet, as of today, to be resolved.

And we think the Afganastan War was/is too long after only 14 years and still counting. So, how many brownie points has Frederick and County governance got in its back pocket, to manipulate and obfuscate history or is this another Bengazi strategy the Republican party dreamed up to make war with the Democratic party, for over 2 years, too many paneled discussions and discovery attemps and counting. and still come up with anything more than a $4.5 M Congressional bill for services rendered?

DickD

Agree, but no one would want a bust of me anyway.

bjonesskins69

You're completely correct, however, if you do not support the bust removal, you are immediately branded as a bigot or racist, period.

vicdavy

Which you are!

bjonesskins69

If I were 69 years old and born in DC, I might be able to relate to you, Vic.

MAVRICKinc7

And your point is what?

MAVRICKinc7

AGREED!

jsklinelga

Slavery is abhorrent. Few now hold to the Darwinian type notion that certain humans are of a less evolved or inferior race. Slavery is absolutely repugnant and thankfully we fought to eradicate the institution. The opinions of Taney were not his opinions but precepts of US Law at the time of Dred Scott. Taney fulfilled his Constitutional obligation by ruling exclusively on legislated law, irrespective of his personal philosophy or beliefs. He upheld the safeguards of a three tier Government. As witnessed by the 13th and 14th Amendment, changing the law was the responsibility of the populace through the legislative process.
This is significant. In recent times the courts have abandoned this constitutional safeguard of a three tier government undermining the basic structure of our government. Consider the words of a recent majority opinion; "In accordance with the judicial duty to base their decisions on principled reasons and neutral discussions, without scornful or disparaging commentary, courts have written a substantial body of law." This is dangerous to our society. It weakens a basic, dearly held principle of our society. Government by the people. Whether we like the laws or not we are government of the people and the citizens are responsible for making the law. We fight, we debate, we disagree and we even war but we are a government ruled by the people. It is not the duty of the courts to rule on principled reasons and neutral discussions, but legislated law exclusively. For this Taney deserves some honor.

public-redux

1. The idea that certain races are inferior is a creationist and not an evolutionary notion.

2. SCOTUS is supposed to, among other thing, determine if legislated laws are consistent with the highest law of the land, the constitution. SCOTUS is not and should not be restricted to ruling exclusively on legislated law. That way lies the tyranny of the majority.

jsklinelga

Good point. I spoke vaguely concerning legislated law. Stare decisis, established law is more appropriate. i do not agree with our ancestors on slavery but i do think that Taney was acting within the dictates of our constitution.

public-redux

I didn't find your comments about legislated law the least bit vague. You were as clear as could be. Just wrong.

MAVRICKinc7

And have WE at all changed, stare decisis (case law and alway refering to PAST decisions to form the wording of the next new law) and all. Was the public conscious mind written into our Constitution. NO. We keep doing the same thing over and over again as we did from the beginnings of America, with stare decisis being the foundation of what should be or have been, but remain of the same WHITE mentailty that we've always been, throughout history. Taney and 6 others expressed a NATIONAL sentiment that blacks were inferior. The 13th,14th Amendement, Emancipation Proclaimation and the Civil Rights Bill were WRITTEN as law, but who among US pay the least bit of attention to these words, that have long been corrupted and bring US back the the same 1965 riots point, that are being played out AGAIN and have been for the past 300 years to todays date. Are we going to stop lying to ourselves, from white to brown to black. NO, not for a very long time. WE, no matter what color or creed, are the problem TODAY as we were YESTERDAY.

DickD

It is also called Democratic rulings.

glenkrc

Re: 1 - Baloney. Evolution allows for divergence within species based on geographic isolation.

public-redux

That doesn't contradict anything I wrote.

MAVRICKinc7

We have so many laws, such as the recent approval of gay marriages, but what PART of our population is willing to abide by the law, or, for that matter, any law our so called elected leaders think up as with the last one that demanded we speak only English. When was the last time SCOTUS made such decisions that corporation are people to? Tyranny has been rubbing up against "the people" for so long, we have come to accept tyranny as anything more than business as usual. WE are FREE to maintain our addictions to denial and the LIES we people tell ourselves on a daily basis, Man made these laws, including our favorite reference, the Bible. What SCOTUS is SUPPOSED to do is one thing. On the other side, the people are the ones who elect to follow the law...OR NOT. Appreciate all the platitudes, excuses, and failed reasoning we use by counting our fingers, but WE are no longer in charge and haven't been for quite some time.

When was the last time Frederick or Frederick county elected a person of color to represent them? Isn't that what the local WHITE MAJORITY of Frederick, Maryland continue to BELIEVE and that people of color remain inferior and not worth anything more than a TOKEN species of their own manufacture, as it was 300 years ago to NOW?

jsklinelga

MAV I try to steer from inflammatory rhetoric for it has proven to be counterproductive but you made some interesting points. Gay marriage and Citizen's United were laws made by the judiciary. To me that summons caution. An appointed group of nine people serving in for life positions should not be legislating. You may agree with certain laws now but what if the pendulum swings. That is the basis of certain points I made about Taney being truer to his Constitutional obligations.

MCEDDE21

Taney's ruling REVERSED "legislated law"; viz., the Missouri Compromise. Under our Constitution all power resides with the people and the Congress, being closest to the people, wields the most power.

The constitution does not provide for judicial review and, in fact, provides exactly the opposite. Article III, Sec. 2.2: "In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."

Taney's decision violated the Missouri Compromise, the law of the land passed by the congress. His decision led, directly or indirectly, to the Civil War. He deserves no honor.

jsklinelga

Good points. Taney's reasoning was Congress overstepped their authority in the establishment of new territories.Taney's opinion was our constitution upheld the institution of slavery via a wide range of precedents. His reasoning was based on established law. That is the Supreme Courts job. The fact that slavery was a part of our government was not Taney's fault.

MCEDDE21

...which brings us to the question of "strict construction" vs the peoples' right to amend the Constitution.

"Strict constructionism" was mentioned at last night's meeting by FCC history professor Michael Powell, as an excuse for Taney's error. It is a canard, a deliberate misrepresentation of the Constitution's true purpose--to correct (at least some of) the weaknesses of the earlier Articles of Confederation; to provide for the "general welfare" and to allow for progress and adaptation in a changing world.

Slavery was the error that Congress addressed by the Missouri Compromise. Any suggestion to the contrary, that the Framers had all the answers in 1787 (or by the Articles of Confederation in 1781) is nonsense.

The Framers (unlike Taney) recognized that society was bound to change over time and they provided the mechanisms to make the adaptations; viz., the Constitution and the Congress, not the Supreme Court.

jsklinelga

You are absolutely correct in your points. I have always hated slavery. My only points were Taney deserves some honor for his office and his service. I have always thought that slavery was a blot on our national character.

MAVRICKinc7

And still is.

MAVRICKinc7

Didn't you just recite Article III, Sec.2. that called for the Supreme Courts as the last appeal jurisdiction provided under the law AND under the Regulations of Congress that gets changed out every 2,to 4, to 6 years in office? Simply said, the Supreme Court acts under the rules and regulations of a Congress made up of different political parties and ideologies? Isn't this the distinction we are always drawing from life time appointments to the Court and balanced by liberal or conservative ideologies appointed and approved by the Executive and Congressional branches of our government and whoever is in the Whitehouse at the time? Boil it down and cut it up into as many pieces as you want, but WE are about political advantage and nothing more and we'll do ANYTHING to get Court advantage. Taney's decision lead to yet ANOTHER bad business decision and covered in blood. Taney represented the Nation's sentiment against people of color and REMINDS US TODAY WE haven't changed one iota since then and NOW. about people of color or minority populations we deem inferior to the White race. Frederick governace is only certifying this ancient notion that should warning to all that would want to be part of this community. Word gets around and well beyond the borders of Frederick or Frederick County. Who's being invited to the party?

jsklinelga

Mav I don't necessarily agree with the last part of your statement but I do concede racism still flourishes, hopefully at a diminished level BUT the first part of your statement was very reasoned and right on point.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The operative word is “all”.
The founding fathers, many who were slave owners, knew what “all” meant and recognized their on hypocrisy. They didn’t say all white men or Scott Irish men or tall men or superior men or with the exception of blacks or with the exception of inferior men. No they said “all” men.
So how Taney could interpret that the founding fathers really meant “all” with exceptions? "According to Taney, the authors of the Constitution had viewed all blacks as "beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

jsklinelga

You should read the Dred Scott decision. Taney explored your reasoning, that these men,slave holders, knew exactly what they were writing which helped form a basis for his opinion.Tragically and sadly the slaves were considered inferior by the framers.

And, you may want to read the dissents of Justices Curtis and McLean. At the time of the ratification of the Constitution, black men could vote in five of the thirteen states. This made them citizens not only of their states but of the United States. The framers knew that and they also allowed states congresses to adoption their own antislavery provisions.

MAVRICKinc7

SO, what's changed between US and THEM over the last 300 years? We keep going back to THEN but fail to note WE haven't changed either, to this day. Is that what the Frederick elected government's contrivance to obfuscate history is really ALL about?

LeonardKeepers

all of this stuff over roger taney is ridiculous the bust should remain at its present location.what taney did over 150 plus years was a sign of the times.it is a real shame that we have elected officials that cannot see the forest for the trees. what happened back when taney was chief justice didn't make things right,but that was the thinking of the people of that period in time. to me all of this stuff about roger taney is nothing more than a ploy by our politicians to get elected or reelected into office.

BstD59

Yes, Leonard, our politicians are thinking mostly of their re-election, sad isn't it?

Dwasserba

Assuming "the forest" to be the descendents here of African-Americans, free and slave, who were declared inferior, then the "tree" would be.....??

threecents

Because slavery has had no long-term effects on today's society?

public-redux

Nominations are open for what should replace it.

I suggest a bust of God.

MCEDDE21

That's a god idea! But, how about something more relevant to the modern era, like a sculpture of anthony weiner's package?

public-redux

I have to admit that we have a much better idea of what Weiner's package looks like.

Dwasserba

Already appropriately displayed in His various local homes.

firedupterp

oh that would offend the atheists. It's amazing how everything now offends someone/group

BstD59

And that, my friend, is exactly what is wrong with everyone.

public-redux

Actually I expect it would offend most believers.

MCEDDE21

How can someone be the Mayor of a City, sit through meeting after meeting, and never have anything to say about anything?

BstD59

Sorry to say he has been that way since the very first day he won his first term. He did absolutely nothing of note during that term of office and yet the 'wise' voters of Frederick City re-elected him to do nothing for another 4 years.

McClement has always had someone run the City for him, his only interest is showing up for photo ops and handshaking.

MCEDDE21

My point, exactly. The FNP doesn't even bother to interview him for anything. It's truly amazing.

BstD59

They can't interview him, he doesn't know anything.

MAVRICKinc7

Doesn't that define OLIGARCHY governance and empires of the least consequence?

FrederickVeteran

I believe angry Americans addicted to racial entitlement should be able to display and embrace their moniker of hate and privilege but I don't believe the state should allow these memorials of our enemy combatants to be displayed on public grounds.

cctjr64

Well let's have a discussion now on removing Thomas Johnson's bust and then renaming the high school.

Dwasserba

....because he declared high school kids an inferior race

copperminer

Give in to hate mongers some one doesn't like something,they will deface that.bad move!

MAVRICKinc7

HUH?

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