Article on John Marshall
Right here. It's an argument that future Chief Justice John Marshall authored a document supporting the Sedition Act, which criminalized criticism of the president or Congress (but not of the vice president, his rival, Thomas Jefferson)). I think it interesting since I think the revered Marshall was a political hack. THen again, there are those who consider me a bit of a contrarian.
Many would say that Marshal is responsible for the greatest power grab in the history of the free world, and with some justice. But then again, he never again used that power himself, but rather left it to his successors.
Posted by: Jim at October 27, 2009 04:29 AM
IIRC, it was John Marshall who also ignored the promises about the "Commerce" clause in the Federalist papers. When a suit came to SCOTUS, Marshall tossed those promises out the window and interpreted the Commerce clause broadly instead of the narrow version the Framers intended.
Posted by: Crucis at October 27, 2009 02:54 PM
More relevant to this forum, there's a historical thread wherein over a period of decades Marshall addressed the preemption of state militia law:
1) as a ratifying delegate at the Virginia Convention in 1788, Marshall answered a question relating to the preemption/concurrence of state militia law by saying that the mere existence of delegated authority did not preempt state authority
2) as acting Virigia AG in 1794, he answered a similar question about possibly conflicting militia law.
3) as a circuit-riding judge in 1815, he decided a case involving a similar question (Meade v. Deputy Marshal).
4) as Chief Justice in 1820, he wrote a dissenting opinion that was submitted under J. Story's name, agreeing generally with federal preemption of state militia law, and dissenting over the issue of state enforcement of federal law. This was in Houston v. Moore, four years before the famous commerce case.
Marshall was apparently consistent from 1788 onward about the preemption of state law by federal law, in areas of delegated authority.
Posted by: jn heath at October 27, 2009 03:44 PM
Marshall was an ignorant boob.
His stupidity concerning the grammatical differences "between" and "among" demonstrate that he was in over his head as a judge.
Freakin political hack, cheat, and liar!
Tiocfaidh ar la!
Posted by: fwb at October 27, 2009 04:35 PM
Yeah, many of the founders involved themselves in petty activities and rhetoric that would be shocking today -- yet they were still a vastly better crop than the mediocres from which we get to choose (I'll include Marshall as a founder since he was a ratifying delegate).
Posted by: jnheath at October 28, 2009 06:23 AM