This story initially appeared on disputed getting rid of a statueof former Mayor Frank Rizzo from the actions of the Municipal Solutions Building.Taney Street is named
after Roger B. Taney, fifth chief justice of the United States Supreme Court and author of exactly what is perhaps its most infamous decision, Dred Scott v. Sanford."The Dred Scott choice was unequivocally the worst legal decision in
American legal history,"said Basile. He updated the petition recently with a letter from Mayor Jim Kenney saying that he was"supportive of altering the name of Taney St.," but keeping in mind that it's City Council that has the power to call streets through ordinances.According to spokeswoman Jane Roh, City Board President Darrell Clarke"would absolutely prefer a name change."Councilman Kenyatta Johnson also launched a statement in favor of the idea. "I'm open to renaming Taney Street and eagerly anticipate having a conversation about it,"Johnson wrote.Though it's uncommon for City Council to relabel streets-- a re-appellation can trigger headaches for citizens and businesses along the recently designated path-- it's not unheard of. In 1992, City board relabelled a portion of Delaware Opportunity Christopher Columbus Boulevard, courting debate along the method. The council had an easier go previously in the years, relabeling East River Drive(now Kelly Drive)and Columbia Opportunity(now Cecil B. Moore Opportunity ). Taney Street runs periodically between 26th and 27th Streets through Grays Ferryboat, Fitler Square, Fairmount, Brewerytown, and Strawberry Mansion, areas that Johnson and Clarke represent.
If they decided to introduce a regulation to alter the street's name, the rest of City board would likely go along, thanks to the tradition of c ouncilmanic prerogative. Taney Street acquired international popularity in 2014, when theTaney Dragons, led by pitcher Mo'
ne Davis, nearly won the Little League World Series. The team is called after the baseball field, which itself is named after the street.When asked why he decided to give last year's petition another go, Basile said he just recently did a little research
into Chief Justice Taney." His connections to Philly were nearly nonexistent,"Basile stated."So, I was actually confused how we even got to the point of calling a street after him. "Philadelphia relabelled Minor Street for Taney in< a href =https://www.phillyhistory.org/HistoricStreets/default.aspx > 1858, just a year after
the Dred Scott decision.A fast, undoubtedly unthorough search of The Inquirer's antebellum archives, offered through the Free Library of Philadelphia, showed up no stories on the renaming of Minor Street to Taney Street in 1858, but the mostly agreed-upon anticipation is that the city daddies chosen to honor the author of that ruling. It is possible that Philadelphia's big Roman Catholic population chose to honor the nation's first Catholic U.S. Supreme Court justice. Again, they would have selected to do so well into his period as chief justice and years before his death in 1864. Taney was from Maryland, and his only genuine connection with the location is a rare one-- he attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., returning to Annapolis to check out law after graduation.Taney Street was extended in 1895 and once again in 1897, as more streets running essentially the same path handled the name.If not for Dred Scott v Sanford, Justice Taney might be remembered far in a different way today.
He signed up with Justice Joseph Story's 7-1 choice in United States v. The Amistad, which found that Africans that managed to overthrow their
captors and potential slavers on thehigh seas were considered totally free foreigners. Dred Scott, nevertheless, successfully overthrew that case without naming it, holding that the Constitution denied citizenship to" a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves."The decision also ended the Missouri Compromise, precipitating the Civil War.The 15th Amendment was written specifically to reverse Dred Scott, which is commonly considered one of the most disgraceful decisions in the court's history.