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Roger B. Taney (1777–1864) was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, holding that office from 1836 until his death. Taney presided over Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which ruled that a "free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves" could not be a citizen under the U.S. Constitution, and thus had no rights which white men were bound to respect. Taney died during the last months of the American Civil War, on the same day that his home state of Maryland abolished slavery.