In 1846, Dred Scott, a slave, sued in a Missouri court for his freedom from his master. Scott argued that his service for Dr. Emerson in Illinois, a state from which slavery has been excluded by the Missouri Compromise, made him a free man. Eventually, the case reached the Supreme Court made of nine judges who interpreted the Constitution in regards to cases. At that time the court reflected the attitudes of the time and in a 7-2 decision ruled against Scott. The most important point in this case was that blacks were not considered people but property and since they were property they could not petition for rights. Chief Justice Taney wrote that it was "too clear to dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended" by the men that signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to be included as citizens of the nation they sought to establish.