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Alderwoman revives debate over Taney statue at City Hall

August 7, 2015

An alderwoman in Maryland wants a bust of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney (TAW’-nee) removed from Frederick City Hall.

Taney, who once practiced law in Frederick, wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery. One of the catalysts for the Civil War, the ruling called black people “beings of an inferior order.”

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak (koo-ZAM’-chak) on Thursday proposed moving the sculpture to another location, such as the private museum in Taney’s former home. She says that would correct what she calls “misinterpreted history.”

Kuzemchak led a similar effort almost 10 years ago. That debate ended with a compromise in 2009 when the city added a plaque near the sculpture explaining the Dred Scott decision.

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