DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD

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Case Basics
Petitioner 
Dred Scott
Respondent 
Sandford
Opinion 
Reargued: 
Term:
Location: Fort Snelling
Facts of the Case 

Dred Scott was a slave in Missouri. From 1833 to 1843, he resided in Illinois (a free state) and in an area of the Louisiana Territory, where slavery was forbidden by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. After returning to Missouri, Scott sued unsuccessfully in the Missouri courts for his freedom, claiming that his residence in free territory made him a free man. Scott then brought a new suit in federal court. Scott's master maintained that no pure-blooded Negro of African descent and the descendant of slaves could be a citizen in the sense of Article III of the Constitution.

Question 

Was Dred Scott free or slave?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for Sandford, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: US Const. Amend. 5; Missouri Compromise

Dred Scott was a slave. Under Articles III and IV, argued Taney, no one but a citizen of the United States could be a citizen of a state, and that only Congress could confer national citizenship. Taney reached the conclusion that no person descended from an American slave had ever been a citizen for Article III purposes. The Court then held the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, hoping to end the slavery question once and for all.

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DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 16 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1856/1856_0>.
DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1856/1856_0 (last visited April 16, 2014).
"DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 16, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1856/1856_0.