Kevin Daley on August 18, 2017
A statue of Chief Justice Roger Taney was removed from the grounds of the Maryland state house overnight, after an administrative panel ordered its removal at the behest of GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.
The Baltimore Sun reports the statue was removed from its perch in front of the state house overnight. Work began shortly after midnight.
Taney served as Chief Justice of the United States from 1836 to 1864. He earned notoriety for writing the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which found blacks were not citizens. A bronze likeness of the justice was erected in 1872.
The Sun reports that the statue was removed from its pedestal by crane and placed on a flatbed truck. It will be removed to a state storage facility administered by the Maryland State Archives.
A spokesman for the governor said the statue was removed under cover of darkness “as a matter of public safety.” Officials feared a daytime removal would make the statue a rallying point for white supremacist radicals. Aides to the governor estimate the removal cost $100,000.
A bust and portrait of Taney remain interred at the U.S. Supreme Court. Some legal commentators have called for their removal, though the Court has given no indication the imagery will be removed.
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