Descendant of Supreme Court judge apologizes for Dred Scott ruling

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Chief Justice Roger Taney and Dred Scott. Photo by Mathew Brady, courtesy of the Library of Congress. Portrait by Louis Schultze, courtesy Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) = The family of the chief justice who presided over the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision 160 years ago apologized to the family of a slave who tried to sue for his freedom.

Charles Taney IV on Monday apologized for the words written by his great-great-grand-uncle Roger Brooke Taney in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. Roger Taney wrote that African-Americans could not have rights of their own and were inferior to white people.

Charles Taney stood outside the Maryland State House on Monday and apologized to Lynne Jackson, the great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott, whose lawsuit prompted the decision. Jackson accepted the apology for her family and for “all African-Americans.”

Monday marked the 160-year anniversary of the decision. The apology took place in front of a statue of Roger Brooke Taney.