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Statue of justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision removed from Maryland State House overnight

081817 Taney statue Annapolis pic
The statue of Roger B. Taney, erected in 1872, was taken away and put in storage around 2 a.m. Friday morning. (By William Henry Rinehart/Own work Daderot, Wikipedia)

A statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who authored the 1857 Dred Scott decision that affirmed slavery and denied blacks citizenship was removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Friday morning.

The statue of Roger B. Taney, erected in 1872, was taken away and put in storage around 2 a.m. Friday morning, according to the Associated Press.

Members of the State House Trust had to vote to approve the statue's removal, and on Wednesday, three of the four voting members of the panel voted by email to take the statue down.

Following Saturday's violence in Charlottesville, Va., where counter-protesters clashed with white nationalist groups protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, top Maryland state officials called for the statue to be removed.

One woman was killed and 19 others were injured in Charlottesville when James Alex Fields Jr., a suspected Nazi sympathizer, drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists.

Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, a Democrat, said Monday the statue of Taney "doesn't belong" on the grounds of the State House.

Gov Larry Hogan, a Republican, issued a statement Tuesday saying removal of the statue is the "right thing to do." Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford voted Wednesday on behalf of the Hogan administration to remove the statue of Taney.

Busch and Hogan, along with Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat and Charles Edson of the Maryland Historical Trust, make up the State House Trust.

Miller, who said earlier this week he opposed removal of the statue but would support Hogan, criticized the decision to hold the vote with no input from the public.

"This was certainly a matter of such consequence that the transparency of a public meeting and public conversation should have occurred," Miller wrote in a letter to Hogan Thursday.