Slaves Cannot Be Taken From Their Owners By Federal Law

1857

In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Supreme Court decides that Dred Scott, who had moved with his owners to the free state of Illinois, returned to slavery when his owners moved back to Missouri, a slave state. The Court rules that slaves are property and that therefore the Missouri Compromise, which forbids slave owners from taking their property into free states violated the owners’ Fifth Amendment rights not to have private property taken from them without just compenstion. The Court further declares that slaves are not citizens of the United States entitled to the protection of the Fifth Amendment.