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The Dred Scott decision dealt a serious blow to the antislavery forces that hoped to keep slavery out of the Northern territories particularly to Senator Stephen A Douglass doctrine of popular sovereignty and also declared that no slave nor descendant of a slave could be a US citizen As a non-citizen the court stated Scott did not have rights could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave The decision also had a major effect in widening the political and social gap between North and South and brought the nation closer to the brink of Civil War The South rejoiced and thus felt relief and vindication for at last the Southern opinion upon the subject of Southern slaveryis now the supreme law of the land The abolitionists in the North were outraged The uproar against the decision helped rather than hurt the antislavery cause and contributed to the Republican victory in the 1860 presidential election The Supreme Court hoped the decision would end the controversy about the extension of slavery into the new territories Instead it just fanned the flames of abolitionism In 1857 Taney wrote the courts decision and knocked the antislavery factions on their heels First the court ruled that no black man free or slave was a US citizen or had ever been a citizen Therefore a black man had no right to sue in a federal court and for that matter Had no rights which a white man was bound to respect Next the court ruled that Congress never had the right to ban slavery in territories because the Constitution protected people from being deprived of life liberty or property According to Chief Justice Taney Congress had no power to forbid slavery in the colonies for two reasons 1 the Constitution gave it only very limited power to legislate for the territories and 2 slaves were property and property owners were protected due to the 5th Amendment of
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