Dred Scott v. Sandford,60 U. S.393, also known simply as the Dred Scott case, was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on US labor law and constitutional law. Dred Scott, an man of the negro African race who had been taken by his owners to free states and territories. In a 7–2 decision written by Chief Justice Roger B, Taney, the court denied Scotts request. The decision was only the time that the Supreme Court had ruled an Act of Congress to be unconstitutional. Although Taney hoped that his ruling would finally settle the slavery question, many contemporary lawyers, and most modern legal scholars, consider the ruling regarding slavery in the territories to be dictum, not binding precedent. The decision proved to be an indirect catalyst for the American Civil War and it was functionally superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1868, which gave African Americans full citizenship. The Supreme Courts decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford is unanimously denounced by scholars, bernard Schwartz says it stands first in any list of the worst Supreme Court decisions—Chief Justice C. E. Hughes called it the Courts greatest self-inflicted wound. Junius P. Rodriguez says it is condemned as the U. S. Supreme Courts worst decision. Historian David Thomas Konig says it was unquestionably, our courts worst decision ever, Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia in 1795. Little is known of his early years and his owner, Peter Blow, moved to Alabama in 1818, taking his six slaves along to work a farm near Huntsville. In 1830, Blow gave up farming and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, after purchasing Scott, Emerson took him to Fort Armstrong, which was located in Illinois. A free state, Illinois had been free as a territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, in 1836, Emerson moved with Scott from Illinois to Fort Snelling, which was located in the Wisconsin territory in what would become the state of Minnesota. Slavery in the Wisconsin Territory was prohibited by the United States Congress under the Missouri Compromise, during his stay at Fort Snelling, Scott married Harriet Robinson in a civil ceremony by Harriets owner, Major Lawrence Taliaferro, a justice of the peace who was also an Indian agent. The ceremony would have been unnecessary if Dred Scott were a slave, in 1837, the Army ordered Emerson to Jefferson Barracks Military Post, south of St. Louis, Missouri. Emerson left Scott and his wife at Fort Snelling, where he leased their services out for profit, before the end of the year, the Army reassigned Emerson to Fort Jesup in Louisiana, where Emerson married Eliza Irene Sanford in February,1838. Emerson sent for Scott and Harriet, who proceeded to Louisiana to serve their master, while en route to Louisiana, Scotts daughter Eliza was born on a steamboat underway along the Mississippi River between Illinois and what would become Iowa. Because Eliza was born in free territory, she was born as a free person under both federal and state laws. Upon entering Louisiana, the Scotts could have sued for their freedom and this had been the holding in Louisiana state courts for more than 20 years
Chief Justice Roger Taney authored the Court's Majority opinion.