Statue of slave owner, former NC Supreme Court chief justice Thomas Ruffin removed from Raleigh court

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A statue commemorating a controversial North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice was removed Monday from the state's Court of Appeals.

Thomas Ruffin served two different stints as the state's Superior Court Judge. Some of his rulings supported slavery, as he owned slaves himself.

According to our newsgathering partners at the News & Observer,. Ruffin was chief justice from 1833 until 1852. Ruffin acquired a plantation in Alamance County.

The removal comes weeks after several Confederate monuments were removed from the capitol grounds in downtown Raleigh and a monument of noted white supremacist Josephus Daniels was taken down.

Ruffin's bio on NCPedia.org notes his most prominent case was State v. Mann, where he ruled that "the power of the master must be absolute to render the submission of the slave perfect." The case dictated the master or hirer of a slave was not liable for the physical battery of an enslaved person.

A portrait of Ruffin hangs in the law school library at UNC.
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