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.
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.