MHS says it lacks the jurisdiction to remove the bust.
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) – A Maryland city’s plan to rid its City Hall courtyard of a statue of the man who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery won’t be second-guessed by the state.
Maryland Historical Trust Director Elizabeth Hughes wrote in a Sept. 2 letter to officials in Frederick that the agency lacks jurisdiction because the bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney (TAW’-nee) is not covered by an easement for a 1983 building preservation grant.
The city’s Historic Preservation Commission has scheduled a public hearing Sept. 22 on plans to remove the bronze bust.
The statue was erected in 1931. Some consider it offensive while others say it’s an indelible part of the city’s history.
Taney practiced law in Frederick before becoming the nation’s fifth chief justice.