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On December 27, 1831, during the administration of President Andrew Jackson, Roger Taney was appointed to the cabinet-level post of Attorney General of the United States. A supporter of Jackson's anti-Federalist policies, Taney was a strong ally in Jackson's "Bank War" in opposition to the Second Bank of the United States, a federally chartered institution that Jackson viewed as an illegal monopoly. In September 1833, Jackson appointed Taney as Secretary of the Treasury; however, this recess appointment was made while the U.S. Senate was out of session. When the members of the Senate returned to Washington, the majority Whig party voted in opposition to Taney, which forced the secretary to resign his position in June, 1834. Taney then returned to his private legal practice in his home state of Maryland.
In 1835 President Jackson nominated Taney to the Supreme Court. Determined to rebuff Jackson once again, his opponents in the Whig party prevented the nomination from coming to a vote. Jackson then nominated Taney for Chief Justice in December 1835 after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall. Although this Taney nomination was again subject to opposition, the Democrat party had regained control of the Senate, leading to Taney's eventual confirmation in March, 1836. Taney presided over the Supreme Court for 28 years, following in his opinions the Jacksonian program of states’ rights and limited federal government. Under his leadership, the Supreme Court reached the famous decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which African-Americans were denied the basic civil rights due American citizens.
After the Bank War, the next job to which Andrew Jackson successfully appointed Taney was a seat on the Supreme Court.
Jackson had tried to appoint Taney as the Secretary of the Treasury. However, the Whigs in the Senate were upset about Taney's work in killing the Bank and refused to confirm him to that post.
After that, Taney did not go back to his post as Attorney General. Instead, he left government for a while. Jackson tried to get him to take other posts in government but he refused until Jackson offerred him a place on the Supreme Court. Jackson and Taney's enemies blocked that too, but the next year, after a different Congress with fewer Whigs was elected, Taney was nominated and confirmed to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In that capacity, he is most famous/infamous for his decision in the Dred Scott case.
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