The Taney Court (1836–64)


What happened to the bridge?

Congress did not agree with the Court’s decision and subsequently passed a federal law mandating that the original height of the bridge was proper. The law read: “That the bridges across the Ohio River at Wheeling, in the State of Virginia, and at Bridgeport, in the State of Ohio, abutting on Zane’s Island, in said river, are hereby declared to be lawful structures in their present positions and elevations, and shall be so held and taken to be any thing in the law or laws of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding.” It was the first time that Congress had legislatively overruled a Supreme Court decision. The case went back up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the bridge did not impede interstate commerce.


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