Did you ever wonder who the worst Supreme Court Justice in all of history was?
In Prigg v Pennsylvania (1842), he voted to allow Southern slave holders to come up North and kidnap freed blacks and their children. He also voted to prevent northern states from passing laws to prevent this kind of kidnapping. But the 1847 Dred Scott Decision, written by Taney, guaranteed him his place in history-- and hell. It was certainly what conservatives now call unfounded judicial activism and there were unsuccessful attempts to impeach Taney because of it. His position is that Congress had no authority to prevent the spread of slavery and that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional (which is why he is honored by the racist dogs of Taney County today). In the reviled opinion he wrote as Chief Justice he insists that Blacks were "an inferior order" and not protected by the Constitution at all.
It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in regard to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted; but the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.
He routinely referred to abolitionist sentiment as "Northern aggression," something that helped rally southerners towards secession. Today Scalia and several other right-wing activists on the Supreme Court falsely claim racism is dead in the South and that there is no longer any need for the protections for Blacks from disenfranchisement in that unfortunate part of the country. Their arguments fly in the face of reality and have no bearing in facts on the ground.