Huebner publishes article in Journal of American History, appointed Associate Editor of Journal of Supreme Court History


Prof. Tim Huebner, chair of the Department of History, has recently published an article on Roger B. Taney, the fifth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision.  The article appears in volume 97 of the Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and the journal of record in the field of American history.

Taney stands out as arguably the most proslavery member of the nineteenth-century Supreme Court.  His rhetoric regarding black citizenship (“they have no rights”) and his unqualified commitment to slaveholders’ property rights exemplified his extremism.  But Taney had not always voiced support for slavery:  as a young Maryland lawyer he had opposed the institution in both word and deed.  Examining Taney’s early antislavery record, the article traces how, when, and why Taney’s views evolved and eventually hardened over the decades.  Significantly, Huebner argues, Taney’s personal and professional ideological trajectory mirrored changes in the national constitutional and political debate over slavery.  To read the article, click here.  Huebner first started researching Taney’s early legal career while he was writing The Taney Court:  Justices, Rulings, and Legacy (2003).

Huebner’s contributions to the field of nineteenth-century U.S. constitutional history have resulted in his recent appointment as associate editor of the Journal of Supreme Court History.  Published by the Supreme Court Historical Society since 1976 and currently edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, the Journal of Supreme Court History publishes articles on any topic relating to the history of the U.S. Supreme Court and its members.  Huebner’s duties as associate editor include reviewing and editing articles submitted to the Journal.