BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney has stood at the State House for almost 150 years and it’s coming down.
A key panel voted to remove the statue from the grounds of the State House in Annapolis Wednesday.
Many have argued that the statue, which has sat at the main entrance to the State House since 1872, should be taken down.
“It shouldn’t be in a place of honor like this. it belongs in a museum not on the state house lawn,” Patrick Murray said.
The State House Trust, which includes Gov. Hogan and Speaker Michael E. Busch voted to have it removed. Senate president Mike Miller did not vote.
In 1857, slave Dred Scott sued for his, his wife and daughter’s freedom. In the most infamous case in U.S. Supreme Court history Taney decided against Scott, upholding slavery and denying citizenship to anyone of African ancestry.
Alice Tennies’ tours include discussion of Taney, who she said, was correct for the time.
“Slaves weren’t even people. I mean the constitution said they were three-fifths of a person,” Tennies said. “If you read the constitution that was the right decision. Whether we like it or not.”
“He was just upholding the constitution at the time and that’s what supreme court justice’s are suppose to do,” said Daniel Lewandowski of Virginia.
“If it’s going to hurt people’s feelings yeah, take them down and put them in a place where they can be preserved and history can be taught to the children down the line and it’s not lost,” Sheila Tawson said.
It’s unclear what is planned for the Taney statue. There is no time table as to when it will be removed at a cost of an estimated $80,000.