No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than any [constitutional] provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government.

— Roger Brooke Taney

The most sensitive Roger Brooke Taney quotes that are little-known but priceless

The question before us is, whether people of African ancestry compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word 'citizens' in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.


We must look at the institution of slavery as publicists, and not as casuists.

It is a question of law, and not a case of conscience.


They [the blacks] had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.