Having set the stage, Justice Scott moves in closer. Two considerations suggest that Missouri should decline to apply foreign law here. First, "[i]t is a humiliating spectacle, to see the courts of a State confiscating the property of her own citizens by the command of a foreign law." States that free slaves are enforcing their own laws; should not Missouri do the same?
The geography of Missouri makes it especially vulnerable. "On almost three sides the State of Missouri is surrounded by free soil." "[N]umberless" slaves might be freed when "those living along an extreme frontier" sent them even briefly across the border.