List of United States Supreme Court cases by the Taney Court

Last updated
Supreme Court of the United States
Taney Court
March 28, 1836 – October 12, 1864
(28 years, 198 days)
Seat Old Supreme Court Chamber
(1836-1860)
Old Senate Chamber
(1860-1864)
Washington, D.C.
No. of positions 7 (1836-1837)
9 (1837-1863)
10 (1863-1864)
Taney Court decisions
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

This is a partial chronological list of cases decided by the United States Supreme Court decided during the Taney Court, the tenure of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney from March 28, 1836 through October 12, 1864.

This page serves as an index of lists of United States Supreme Court cases. The United States Supreme Court is the highest federal court of the United States.

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about one hundred to one hundred fifty of the more than seven thousand cases that it is asked to review.

Taney Court

The Taney Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1836 to 1864, when Roger Taney served as the fifth Chief Justice of the United States. Taney succeeded John Marshall as Chief Justice after Marshall's death in 1835. Taney served as Chief Justice until his death in 1864, at which point Salmon P. Chase took office. Taney had been an important member of Andrew Jackson's administration, an advocate of Jacksonian democracy, and had played a major role in the Bank War, during which Taney wrote a memo questioning the Supreme Court's power of judicial review. However, the Taney Court did not strongly break from the decisions and precedents of the Marshall Court, as it continued to uphold a strong federal government with an independent judiciary. Most of the Taney Court's holdings are overshadowed by the Dred Scott decision, in which the court ruled that African-Americans could not be citizens. However, the Taney Court's decisions regarding economic issues and separation of powers set important precedents, and the Taney Court has been lauded for its ability to adapt regulatory law to a country undergoing remarkable technological and economic progress.

Case nameCitationSummary
United States v. Segui 35 U.S. 306 (1836)upholding the validity of a Spanish land grant in Florida
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge 36 U.S. 420 (1837) Contract Clause of the Constitution
The Amistad 40 U.S. 518 (1841) slave trade and slave ownership
Swift v. Tyson 41 U.S. 1 (1842) Federal common law in diversity jurisdiction cases, later overturned
Prigg v. Pennsylvania 41 U.S. 539 (1842)runaway slaves
Luther v. Borden 48 U.S. 1 (1849)guarantee clause of Article Four of the United States Constitution
Passenger Cases 48 U.S. 283 (1849)taxation of immigrants, constitutionality of state laws regarding foreign commerce
Sheldon v. Sill 49 U.S. 441 (1850) Congressional control of the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts
Hotchkiss v. Greenwood 52 U.S. 248 (1850)Early standard for non-obviousness in United States patent law
Strader v. Graham 51 U.S. 82 (1851) slavery and the application of state laws thereof
Cooley v. Board of Wardens 53 U.S. 299 (1852) pilotage laws under the Commerce Clause
Dred Scott v. Sandford 60 U.S. 393 (1857) slavery, the definition of citizenship
Ableman v. Booth 62 U.S. 506 (1859)The contradiction of Federal law by States
Prize Cases 67 U.S. 635 (1863)presidential powers in wartime

Related Research Articles

Taney County, Missouri County in the United States

Taney County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,675. Its county seat is Forsyth. It is included in the Branson, Missouri, Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that the U.S. Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for black people, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free, and therefore the rights and privileges it confers upon American citizens could never apply to them. The plaintiff in the case was Dred Scott, an enslaved black man whose owners had taken him from Missouri, which was a slave-holding state, into the Missouri Territory, most of which had been designated "free" territory by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. When his owners later brought him back to Missouri, Scott sued in court for his freedom, claiming that because he had been taken into "free" U.S. territory, he had automatically been freed, and was legally no longer a slave. Scott sued first in Missouri state court, which ruled that he was still a slave under its law. He then sued in U.S. federal court, which ruled against him by deciding that it had to apply Missouri law to the case. He then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dred Scott Enslaved African-American man

Dred Scott was an enslaved African American man in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the "Dred Scott case". Scott claimed that he and his wife should be granted their freedom because they had lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory for four years, where slavery was illegal.

<i>Ex parte Merryman</i>

Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (No. 9487), is a well-known and controversial U.S. federal court case that arose out of the American Civil War (1861–1865). It was a test of the authority of the President to suspend "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus" under the Constitution's Suspension Clause, when Congress was in recess and therefore unavailable to do so itself. More generally, the case raised questions about the ability of the executive branch to decline enforcement of orders from the judicial branch when the executive believes them to be erroneous and harmful to its own legal powers.

A number of cases were tried before the Supreme Court of the United States during the period of the American Civil War. These cases focused on wartime civil liberties, and the ability of the various branches of the government to alter them. The following cases were among the most significant.

USCGC <i>Taney</i> (WHEC-37)

USCGC Taney (WPG/WAGC/WHEC-37) is a United States Coast Guard High Endurance Cutter, notable as the last warship floating that fought in the attack on Pearl Harbor, although Taney was moored in nearby Honolulu Harbor not Pearl Harbor itself. She was named for Roger B. Taney (1777–1864), who was at various times: U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of the Treasury, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Henry Baldwin (judge) United States federal judge

Henry Baldwin was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from January 6, 1830, to April 21, 1844.

Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, 36 U.S. 420 (1837), was a case regarding the Charles River Bridge and the Warren Bridge of Boston, Massachusetts, heard by the United States Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.

American Insurance Company v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 26 U.S. 511 (1828), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. The case involved the validity of a local court established by Congress in the Florida Territory whose judges lacked life tenure, as mandated by Article III of the Constitution. Chief Justice John Marshall upheld the courts on the basis of Congress's broad power to enact local laws for territories under Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution. The case was later discussed in Dred Scott v. Sandford, where Chief Justice Roger Taney distinguished it in holding that Congress could not ban slavery within a territory.

Old Supreme Court Chamber

The Old Supreme Court Chamber is the room on the ground floor of the North Wing of the United States Capitol. From 1800 to 1806, the room was the lower half of the first United States Senate chamber, and from 1810 to 1860, the courtroom for the Supreme Court of the United States.

Samuel Nelson American judge

Samuel Nelson was an American attorney and appointed as judge of New York State courts. He was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1872. He concurred on the 1857 Dred Scott decision, although for reasons different from Chief Justice Taney's.

Roger B. Taney United States federal judge

Roger Brooke Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He delivered the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), ruling that African Americans could not be considered citizens and that Congress could not prohibit slavery in the territories of the United States. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Taney served as the United States Attorney General and United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson.

James Moore Wayne Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1835–1867)

James Moore Wayne was an American attorney, judge and politician who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1835 to 1867. He previously served as the 16th Mayor of Savannah, Georgia from 1817 to 1819 and the member of the United States House of Representatives for Georgia's at-large congressional district from 1829 to 1835, when he was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Andrew Jackson. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Aboriginal title in the Taney Court

The Supreme Court of the United States, under Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (1836–1864), issued several important decisions on the status of aboriginal title in the United States, building on the opinions of aboriginal title in the Marshall Court.

<i>Roger B. Taney</i> (sculpture) artwork by William Henry Rinehart

Roger B. Taney is a 19th century bronze statue of Chief Justice of the United States Roger B. Taney (1777–1864), by William Henry Rinehart. It was located in Baltimore, Maryland at the North Garden in Mount Vernon Place prior to being removed by the city of Baltimore in 2017.

Criminal law in the Taney Court

The Taney Court heard thirty criminal law cases, approximately one per year. Notable cases include Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), United States v. Rogers (1846), Ableman v. Booth (1858), Ex parte Vallandigham (1861), and United States v. Jackalow (1862).

The Roger B. Taney Monument is a statue of Roger B. Taney (1777–1864), who was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, installed in Annapolis, Maryland, on the State House grounds. The sculpture, by the artist William Henry Rinehart, was unveiled on December 10, 1872. The sculpture, made of bronze, was commissioned by the Legislature of Maryland.

The Tenth Circuit Act of 1863 was a federal statute which increased the size of the Supreme Court of the United States from nine justices to ten, and which also reorganized the circuit courts of the federal judiciary. The newly created Tenth Circuit consisted of California and Oregon, and addressed the judicial needs of the newly-created western states. The Act became effective on March 3, 1863, during the Lincoln administration.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the supreme court of the United States shall hereafter consist of a chief justice and nine associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum; and for this purpose there shall be appointed one additional associate justice of said court, with the like powers, and to take the same oaths, perform the same duties, and be entitled to the same salary, as the other associate justices.

References