John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson, Supreme Court discussed on Moral Side Of The News

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

No, member of America's founding generation has had a more lasting impact on the constitution. The supreme court and the country itself. Then John Marshall he began his public service in seventeen seventy five as a nineteen year old in the continental army was at Valley Forge with George Washington later as an adult he represented, the new Republic as Bassett or to France and secretary of state under John Adams who eventually nominated him as the nation's fourth chief Justice of the United States, the book without precedent. Chief Justice, John Marshall, and his times is a fascinating and engaging narrative in which Joel Richard Paul brings us overlooked titan of American history to vivid life, Joel Richard policy with us on the phone. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much. So what drew you to the subject of chief Justice, John Marshall? Well, I've taught constitutional law office thirty years, of course, Jon Marshall's name keeps popping up. I wanted to learn more about this, man. And what I tried to do in. My book was to really give a more balanced portrait of the man because you know, it's true that for thirty four years as chief Justice, he had an enormous impact on the way in which our constitution is interpreted and the development of our legal system. But just as importantly, he was a he was a major shakier in the revolutionary war. He was a significant diplomat. He was a leader in congress. He was a pivotal figure in the ratification debates in Virginia that ratified the US constitution, and he was secretary of state, and I wanted to fit all of that into one book. Wow. And it is a lot. It's it's a very compelling story of this amazing, man. Tell us about his rivalry with Thomas Jefferson and its impact on history. Yeah. Thomas Jefferson was his his first cousin on and like a lot of I. Second cousin rather than like a lot of second cousins. You know, there are sometimes bitter family feuds in this instance, Jefferson's families wells, really came from money that they inherited which otherwise would have gone to Marshall's grandmother. So Jefferson live Kentucky, Ohio, speak plantation with five hundred slaves. Great wealth and privilege Marshall by contrast grew up in poverty on a two room. Log cabin on the frontier of Virginia close to the Kentucky border. He with his fifteen brothers and sisters crowded into two rooms, he had no formal education apart from single year of grammar school, and yet he rose to enormous prominence. He ends up marrying the daughter of the woman who Jefferson I fell in love with. So she rejected Jefferson's proposal of marriage. And then her daughter turns around and marries Marsh. You can imagine how Jefferson felt about that. And politically they had a rivalry which resulted from the fact that Jefferson was the leader of what was then called the Republican party later, the democrat Republican party, he believed in states' rights, and he believed in protecting the institution of slavery Marshall by contrast was the leader of the federalist party that all in a strong national government, national defense opposed slavery. And so they were political rivals as well as familial rivals. What was this the rivalry? What was its impact on American history? Which impact in American history was significant because basically the whole case of Marbury versus Madison. Is really a reaction that to the threat that Jefferson poses to the supreme court Jefferson wanted to make the supreme court subordinate to the president. He wanted the authority to be able to hire and fire justices. He sent out to impeach Marshall. And the other federalist judges on the supreme court martial wanted to defend independence. So in the case of Marbury versus Madison, which Marshall actually engineer. He actually that case was a setup a martial setup that case. So that he could established two important principles. First. That the court is is is independent and has the authority to strike down laws that are passed by congress, contrary to the constitution is unconstitutional and second that the court has the authority to review the powers of the executive branch. And that is just as important as the ability to strike down laws it's unconstitutional, and and and those two principles together established the supreme court as a Coequal branch of the federal government. Wow. That's really interesting. And what can you speculate? I wonder on what would be Marshall's relationship for what he would be like on the supreme court of today. Well, I think that Marshall would be very disappointed with a number of decisions that are decided five four a court today. I think he felt that. Important for the court to find consensus in Marshall's thirty four years on the court longer than any other chief Justice he participated in more than eleven hundred opinions and of those decisions more than half of them. He wrote the opinions and self and all but thirty six of his opinions were unanimous decisions. That's a remarkable record, especially given the fact that every Justice who was appointed to the supreme court after Marshall was appointed by a jeffersonian that is a Republican president who oppose Marshall's jurisprudence. So they all sought to overturn Marshall jurisprudence and through his intellect and his personality he managed to seduce all of the other members of the court to help them sort of like find common ground at forty consensus. That's the kind of leadership that I think is missing on the court today and is missing in our country today. And it's just so important. I think to get us back to who we are as people exactly the supreme court. Justice appointments have become outrageously political in a funny way Marshall contributed to that. Right. Because before Marshall the supreme court did not have much authority in the case of Marbury versus Madison, James Madison. The secretary of state doesn't even bother a carry in court because he didn't really regard the court as having any authority over him. The the court has a thirty today because of John Marshall. And so every recent supreme court nomination has become controversial because of the enormous power. The court has an all of that is due to Marshall's influence the book is now out in paperback. Right. It's out in paperback. It's a, you know, I I really want to emphasize that. I I wrote the book for for a general audience. I didn't write the book for lawyers. I it's it's not a book about law cases. It's about a wonderful romantic story between Marshall and his and his wife. Polly the story of growing up during. The American revolution. The first sixty years of our Republic, and I hope to give people a really kind of kaleidoscopic a few of how the country developed in our politics, and our on our legal and political system came to be what it is today. And that's why it's so readable. And it's called without precedent. Chief Justice, John Marshall and his times by Joel Richard Paul. Thank you, sir. Thank you, so much pleasure..

Coming up next