Maryland will remove bust of Supreme Court justice who said slaves weren't citizens


Maryland will remove the 90-year-old bust of a racist Supreme Court justice from the grounds of the Frederick City Hall this weekend, officials said in a statement on Thursday.

The statue — a likeness of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, who once declared that slaves were not citizens — is scheduled for removal at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 18. 

Rob Carr/AP

According to the statement, the bust will be restored before being relocated to a local cemetery, pending approval from the city's Historic Preservation Commission.

In life, Taney was best known for his infamous ruling against Dred Scott, the slave who sued for his freedom in 1857. The ruling was later overturned, but not before moving the country toward the brink of the Civil War. 

According to Time, one vocal opponent of the statue's relocation was, curiously, one of Scott's own descendants — his great-great-granddaughter, Lynne Jackson. 

"I just feel that it's unfortunate and a missed opportunity," Jackson told Time on Thursday. "It would have been a reconciliation and a healing place. Unfortunately, that won't happen now there."

Mount Olivet Cemetery, the bust's planned destination, is "where the learning will have to happen" now, she said.