The Taney Court (1836–64)


The Taney Court upheld the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 in what decision?

The Taney Court unanimously ruled in Jones v. Van Zandt (1847) that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was constitutional. John Van Zandt, an operator of the so-called Underground Railroad, was sued by Kentucky slaveowner Wharton Jones for harboring a male slave named Andrew. The Taney Court, in an opinion written by Justice Levi Woodbury, upheld the constitutionality of the law. The Court determined that slavery was a “political question settled by each State for itself.”


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