(1777-1864) US lawyer. He was President Jackson's attorney general 1831, and US secretary of the treasury 1833–35. In 1835 he was appointed chief justice of the US Supreme Court. In the Dred Scott case 1857 he ruled that Congress had no right to ban slavery in the territories, a decision that seriously aggravated sectional tensions.
Born in Calvert County, Maryland, Taney was educated at Dickinson College and became a barrister 1799. He served as a Maryland state senator 1816–21 and state attorney general 1827–31.