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The Activist

Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 9780802717597
Size: 16.98 MB
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In the waning days of his presidency, in January 1801, John Adams made some historic appointments to preserve his Federalist legacy. Foremost among them, he named his secretary of state, John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court-neither of them anticipating that Marshall would soon need to decide the most crucial case in Supreme Court history-Marbury vs. Madison. The Activist is the story of that case and its impact on American history. It revolved around a suit brought by Federalist William Marbury and 3 others that unwittingly set off a Constitutional debate that has reverberated for more than two centuries, for the case introduced a principle ("judicial review") at the heart of our democracy: does the Supreme Court have the right to interpret the Constitution and the law. Acclaimed narrative historian Larry Goldstone makes this early American legal drama come alive for readers today as a seminal moment in our history, chronicling, as it does, the formation and foundation of the Supreme Court. But it has ever since given cover to justices, like Antonin Scalia today, who assert the Court's power over the meaning of the Constitution.That Marshall's opinion was also the very height of the judicial activism that Scalia, John Roberts, and their fellow conservatives deplore promises to be one of American history's great ironies.The debate began in 1801, and continues to this day-and in Lawrence Goldstone's hands, it has never been more interesting or relevant for general readers.

John Marshall S Constitutionalism

Author: Clyde H. Ray
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438474423
Size: 27.25 MB
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A study of John Marshall’s political thought with special emphasis on his views of constitutional legitimacy, sovereignty, citizenship, and national identity. John Marshall’s Constitutionalism is an exploration of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall’s political thought. Often celebrated and occasionally derided as a force in the creation of American jurisprudence and the elevation of the American Supreme Court, Marshall is too seldom studied as a political thinker. Clyde H. Ray explores this neglected dimension of Marshall’s thought by examining his constitutional theory in the context of several of his most important Supreme Court opinions, arguing that Marshall’s political theory emphasized the federal Constitution’s fundamental legitimacy; its sovereignty over national and state government policy; its importance in defining responsible citizenship; and its role in establishing a Constitution-based form of American nationalism. This cross-disciplinary argument illustrates Marshall’s devotion to the Constitution as a new source of national identity during the early national period. Furthermore, Ray argues that Marshall’s constitutionalism makes important contributions not only to our understanding of American constitutionalism during his time, but also conveys important lessons for readers seeking a better understanding of the Constitution’s role in the United States today. “Ray’s deep analysis shows how Chief Justice John Marshall’s constitutional thought can inform our thinking today about issues of legitimacy, federalism, and national identity.” — Frank Colucci, Purdue University Northwest

Historical Dictionary Of The U S Constitution

Author: Richard S. Conley
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442271876
Size: 26.46 MB
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The Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Constitution contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries on key figures in the Founding, Supreme Court chief justices, explanations of the Articles and Amendments to the Constitution, and key Supreme Court cases. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the U.S. Constitution.

Without Precedent

Author: Joel Richard Paul
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0525533273
Size: 45.63 MB
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The remarkable story of John Marshall who, as chief justice, statesman, and diplomat, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States. No member of America's Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From the nation's founding in 1776 and for the next forty years, Marshall was at the center of every political battle. As Chief Justice of the United States - the longest-serving in history - he established the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the federal Constitution and courts. As the leading Federalist in Virginia, he rivaled his cousin Thomas Jefferson in influence. As a diplomat and secretary of state, he defended American sovereignty against France and Britain, counseled President John Adams, and supervised the construction of the city of Washington. D.C. This is the astonishing true story of how a rough-cut frontiersman - born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education - invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation. Without Precedent is the engrossing account of the life and times of this exceptional man, who with cunning, imagination, and grace shaped America's future as he held together the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the country itself.

Failures Of American Methods Of Lawmaking In Historical And Comparative Perspectives

Author: James R. Maxeiner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108195830
Size: 77.54 MB
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In this book, James R. Maxeiner takes on the challenge of demonstrating that historically American law makers did consider a statutory methodology as part of formulating laws. In the nineteenth century, when the people wanted laws they could understand, lawyers inflicted judge-made, statute-destroying, common law on them. Maxeiner offers the cure for common law, in the form of sensible statute law. Building on this historical evidence, Maxeiner shows how rule-making in civil law jurisdictions in other countries makes for a far more equitable legal system. Sensible statute laws fit together: one statute governs, as opposed to several laws that even lawyers have trouble disentangling. In a statute law system, lawmakers make laws for the common good in sensible procedures, and judges apply sensible laws and do not make them. This book shows how such a system works in Germany and would be a solution for the American legal system as well.

Inherently Unequal

Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 9780802778857
Size: 68.75 MB
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A potent and original examination of how the Supreme Court subverted justice and empowered the Jim Crow era. In the years following the Civil War, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery; the 14th conferred citizenship and equal protection under the law to white and black; and the 15th gave black American males the right to vote. In 1875, the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in the nation's history granted all Americans "the full and equal enjoyment" of public accommodations. Just eight years later, the Supreme Court, by an 8-1 vote, overturned the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional and, in the process, disemboweled the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment. Using court records and accounts of the period, Lawrence Goldstone chronicles how "by the dawn of the 20th century the U.S. had become the nation of Jim Crow laws, quasi-slavery, and precisely the same two-tiered system of justice that had existed in the slave era." The very human story of how and why this happened make Inherently Unequal as important as it is provocative. Examining both celebrated decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson and those often overlooked, Goldstone demonstrates how the Supreme Court turned a blind eye to the obvious reality of racism, defending instead the business establishment and status quo--thereby legalizing the brutal prejudice that came to define the Jim Crow era.

American Federalism

Author: Larry N. Gerston
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe
ISBN: 9780765636157
Size: 80.85 MB
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Understanding federalism - the form of political organization that unites separate polities within an overarching political system so that all maintain their political integrity - is central to the study of democratic government in the United States. Yet, many political scientists treat federalism as a set of abstract principles or a maze of budgetary transfers with little connection to real political life. This concise and engaging book boils the discussion down to its essence: federalism is about power, specifically the tug for power among and within the various levels of government. Author Larry N. Gerston examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of federalism; the various "change events" that have been involved in defining America's unique set of federal principles over time; and the vertical, horizontal, and international dimensions of federalism in the United States today. The result is a book examining the ways in which institutional political power is both diffused and concentrated in the United States.