This sanction for the importation of slaves by the states for twenty years after the adoption of the Constitution, when considered with the section requiring escaped slaves to be returned to their masters, Art. IV, § 1, cl. 3, was held by Chief Justice Taney in Scott v. Sandford,1891 to show conclusively that such persons and their descendants were not embraced within the term “citizen” as used in the Constitution. Today this ruling is interesting only as an historical curiosity.


60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 411 (1857). back