Roger Brooke Taney (1777–1864)

The first Catholic to serve on the Supreme Court, Taney was Chief Justice from 1836 to 1864. Widely respected for his indepence and integrity and personally opposed to slavery, his place in history is nonetheless shadowed by his opinion in the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which denied United States citizenship to a slave who had been transported into a free state.

Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration (public domain)


Catholic Encyclopedia * Supreme Court Historical Society * Matthew Brady Gallery *