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Tearing Down Confederate Statues or Dismantling History?

By: GDH Staff

Around midnight on Friday, August 11, 2017, Maryland state employees removed 145-year-old statue of Maryland Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney from the Maryland State House grounds. Recognized as part of Maryland’s art collection and known display, many Marylanders wonder why the statue of Justice Roger B. Taney is being taken down.

Roger B. Taney became a practicing attorney in 1799. Elected to Maryland House of Delegates, Maryland State Senate, Attorney General of Maryland, and the Attorney General of the United States of America. He was also the fifth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Justice Taney’s likeness has been controversial after the Dred Scott decision. The Dred Scott decision supported slavery. On March 6, 1857, Justice Taney delivered the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott case that ruled that black people could not be citizens. Justice Taney’s ruling in the case of Dred Scott, a black man born into slavery used the courts to demand his freedom, was a pivotal turning point in the country’s history. Approximately 165 years after the ruling, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan acknowledges that Taney was an advocate for slavery, which does not represent the likeness of Maryland nor the country and should not be acknowledged by a monumental statue on the Maryland State House grounds.

Governor Hogan, who is a Republican, wanted to remove Taney’s statue from the State House grounds after the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, VA resulting from the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis protests of the statue removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

GDH Law is located about 20 miles from the statue and all attorneys who practice in the firm and the state of Maryland have been sworn in as attorneys in Annapolis, MD, where the statute was located. When the General Assembly meets to pass bills during session, you cannot help but pass the controversial statue. This is a big deal for Maryland.

How do you feel about this change that occurred over night? Although the statue has been taken down, it has not been destroyed and is being moved to a secure facility in Baltimore County. The question is: where should the statute go? Should it be destroyed, placed in a cemetery, museum? Any ideas? What are your thoughts?

GDH LAW is located in Lanham, MD, Prince George’s County and has a location in Montgomery, County, MD. Our office business law, civil litigation, personal injury, and auto accidents. Contact our firm at 301-769-6835. Our website: www.gdhlawfirm.com

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