Dredd Scott v.s sandford
The case, which hinged on Scott's travels in free territories in the North, went through two trials. (The second trial was granted because of a procedural error in the first.) In 1850 at the conclusion of the second trial, a Missouri jury ruled Scott a free man. This decision was based on his prior residence in a free territory or state, which according to precedent, resulted in his emancipation, regardless of the fact that Missouri itself was a slave state. John F. A. Sanford, the lawyer for Scott's owner, immediately appealed the decision before the Missouri Supreme Court, where a pro-slavery judge reversed the ruling, rescinding Scott's freedom. But the case did not end there. Cited:http://go.galegroup.com/
In 1846 a slave named Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, sued for their freedom in a St. Louis city court. The Scotts' freedom could be established on the grounds that they had been held in bondage for extended periods in a free territory and were then returned to a slave state. Courts had ruled this way in the past. However, what appeared to be a straightforward lawsuit between two private parties became an 11-year legal struggle that culminated in one of the most notorious decisions ever issued by the United States Supreme Court. On its way to the Supreme Court, the Dred Scott case grew in scope and significance as slavery became the single most explosive issue in American politics. On March 6, 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney read the majority opinion of the Court, which stated that slaves were not citizens of the United States and, therefore, could not expect any protection from the Federal Government or the courts. The opinion also stated that Congress had no authority to ban slavery from a Federal territory. This decision moved the nation a step closer to Civil War. The decision of Scott v. Sanford, considered by legal scholars to be the worst ever rendered by the Supreme Court, was overturned by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution, which abolished slavery and declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens of the United States.