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The Dredd Scott vs Sanford case is about a Missouri slave who sued his owner for his freedom The case stirred because his former owner took Scott an army surgeon by the name of Dr Emerson When sold to Sanford by his former the issue erupted on whether or not he was still a slave Sanford argued that Scott is not a citizen of the Missouri territory because he is of African descent Since Africans were brought over and sold as slaves Sanford argues that Scott was never free Scott is also accusing Sanford of assaulting his wife and children Sanford justifies this by saying that he laid his hands on them and imprisoned them lawfully since they were slaves The case would never have been seen or heard if in previous court history a decision was not declared that state courts determined the status of Negroes who lived within their jurisdictionNorton p391 The Supreme Court had only this precedent to follow The court eventually ruled on the Missouri Compromise The case was brought to court in May 1854 and Sanford was found guilty The case appealed and the court reargued the decision in 1855 and the defendant was found not guilty The Constitutional questions that arose were very controversial issues at the time like Was a black person like Dredd Scott a citizen of the United States and was he eligible to sue in Federal court Had residence in a free state or free territory made him free Did congress have the power to prohibit slavery in a territory or to delegate that power to territorial legislature The selection of the constitution that the Supreme Court revered to in its decision I think was Article III Section II During the time this decision was made the Supreme Court was undergoing changes in the different branches of government The Supreme Court justices were normally reluctant to inject themselves into
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