The following is a list of arguments used in Dred Scott v. Sandford.
Read through each argument and decide whether it supports Dred Scott's
side in favor of his freedom (DS), Sanford's position in favor of
Scott's continued slavery (SAN), both sides (BOTH), or neither side (N).
Label each argument next to the number. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 outlawed slavery forever in certain
areas. Dred Scott's owner took him to these free areas. Thus, Scott
became free forever.
- Dred Scott is not a citizen because if he were he would be entitled
to all of the privileges and immunities of a citizen, one of which is
the right of free movement. It is clear that the laws governing slavery
do not permit this, thus he cannot be a citizen.
- Even before the Constitution, some states allowed blacks to vote.
The Constitution does not say explicitly that blacks cannot be citizens.
- The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Neither
Congress nor states can pass laws that conflict with the Constitution.
- It was law in many states and had been common law in Europe for
centuries that a slave who legally traveled to a free area automatically
- In the case of Strader v. Graham (1850), the Supreme
Court of the United States heard the case of three slaves who had been
taken from Kentucky to Indiana and Ohio and then back to Kentucky. The
Court declared that the status of the slave depended on the laws of
Kentucky, not Ohio.
- In 1865, the states ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, making slavery illegal.
- The Constitution recognized the existence of slavery. Therefore, the
men who framed and ratified the Constitution must have believed that
slaves and their descendants were not to be citizens.
- The Missouri Compromise of 1820 that outlawed slavery in some future
states was unconstitutional because Congress does not have the
authority to deny property rights of law-abiding citizens. Thus, Scott
was always a slave in areas that were free.
- At the time of the Dred Scott case, women and minors could sue in federal court even though they could not vote.