The slave Dred Scott claimed that by relocating to a free state he had become a free man. But when the Supreme Court ruled against him in 1856 and Chief Justice Roger Taney asserted that blacks were not and never could be citizens, it sent shock waves through the nation and helped lead to civil war.
Earl M. Maltz discusses his book Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. His talk is the first offering of the new series Legal Landmarks: Supreme Court Decisions that Changed America.
Maltz traces the impact of the case on northern and southern public opinion, showing how a decision meant to resolve the question of slavery in the territories only aggravated sectional animosity.
Maltz is Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University - Camden.
Judge Lisa White Hardwick of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, offers introductory remarks.
Legal Landmarks is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Truman Library Institute, and the Federal Court Historical Society.
The series is funded by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund with additional support provided by Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP and co-sponsored by the University Press of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law.
Other events in the series include:
Herbert Alan Johnson looks at how the Supreme Court's 1824 decision determined that the federal government holds the power to regulate interstate commerce.
Admission to all events is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes each event. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at10th and Baltimore. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407.