An exploration of the U.S. Supreme Court during an era of dramatic sectionalism, slavery, and the Civil War.
The Taney Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy presents an in-depth analysis of the decisions and impact of the U.S. Supreme Court during the three-decade tenure of Roger B. Taney, one of the most important chief justices in U.S. history. A careful analysis of landmark decisions such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, and Prigg v. Pennsylvania shows how the court interpreted issues of commerce, contracts, slavery, and separation of powers, and how, despite its perception as being pro-states rights, it actually expanded federal judicial power.
Profiles of the 20 justices who served on the Taney Court place a special emphasis on those who made the most significant impact, including Taney, Joseph Story, Benjamin Curtis, and John A. Campbell.
- Includes a survey of the historical period that describes the major political, social, and economic developments of the middle decades of the 19th century such as the fierce competition between the Democratic and Whig parties, the rapid economic growth of the nation, and the Civil War
- Offers an examination of the decisions reached in the Court's most important cases on the interpretation of the clauses of the Constitution relating to commerce, contract, and slavery