United States Supreme Court Chief Justice, Presidential Cabinet Secretary. He was admitted to the bar in 1799 and was elected assemblyman, replacing his father the same year. In 1801 he began law practice in Frederick, Maryland and quickly acquired a reputation as an able attorney. He then moved to Baltimore where he became adviser to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. He was appointed State Attorney General by Governor Joseph Kent in 1827 upon the unanimous recommendation of the Baltimore city attorneys. Roger Taney left the Federalist party and became a fervent supporter of President Andrew Jackson. His appointment as United States Attorney General in 1831 was the first which gave a cabinet post to a Catholic. He then was named Secretary of the Treasury by President Jackson in 1833. Because of political differences, the Senate refused to confirm him, and he resigned a year later. He was named to the United States Supreme Court and designated as its fifth Chief Justice on March 15, 1856. His confirmation was opposed by Senator Henry Clay and Senator Daniel Webster, both of whom later became his close friends. Chief Justice Taney administered the oath of office to eight presidents, the first Martin Van Buren and the last Abraham Lincoln. His majority opinion concerning the "Dred Scott v. Sandford" case, issued in 1857, detailed the ruling of the Taney-led Supreme Court that African-Americans, regardless of status as an enslaved or free person, were not included in American citizenship, and did not have rights and privileges afforded them under the Constitution. The decision was a flashpoint in the sectional strife of the time period, and was one of the main contributing factors that hastened the coming of the Civil War. During the war, despite being staunchly pro-slavery, he did not resign his position, and remained in contention with President Lincoln, opposing him on many measures the President took to prosecute the war. He died in office in 1864.