Md. Senate President: Taney Remarks Weren't Meant to Divide - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Senate President: Taney Remarks Weren't Meant to Divide

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In an Aug. 18, 2017 file photo, workers use a crane to lift the monument dedicated to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney after it was was removed from outside Maryland State House, in Annapolis, Md.  (Photo: AP) In an Aug. 18, 2017 file photo, workers use a crane to lift the monument dedicated to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney after it was was removed from outside Maryland State House, in Annapolis, Md. (Photo: AP)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WBOC)- The president of the Maryland Senate says he regrets that his remarks about the late Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney became a distraction.

A dozen African American ministers and community activists gathered in Prince George's County Monday to condemn Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.'s defense of the author of the Dred Scott decision.

In a recent letter, Miller criticized the removal of the statue from State House grounds without a public meeting beforehand. He noted the "inflammatory and derogatory language" of the Dred Scott decision, but also stressed Taney's "prior anti-slavery words and actions."

Miller said in a statement Monday that he regrets that sharing his "historical perspective" has distracted from "the larger issue we must face together as a nation" and his role to "bring unity and fight for a better Maryland."

Taney was born in Maryland and practiced law in Frederick before becoming the nation's fifth chief justice. Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, were slaves who sued for their freedom after they were taken from the slave state of Missouri into territory where slavery had been prohibited by the Missouri Compromise.

This year marked the 160th anniversary of the 1857 decision. In March, a family member of Taney's apologized to the Scott family in front of the statue that was removed Friday. Charles Taney IV of Greenwich, Connecticut, apologized to the Scotts and all African Americans for the "terrible injustice of the Dred Scott decision." Lynne Jackson, a great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott, accepted the apology for her family and "all African Americans who have the love of God in their heart, so that healing can begin."

 

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