Sunday, February 24, 2008

Today In History: Judicial activism.

On this date in 1803, the Supremes gave themselves a promotion.


Jonathan said...

This was covered in David McCullough's "John Adams". (I admit my bias up front).

I guess that wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal John Marshall can get anyone's blood up (?) (confused)

The Court has handed down some stinkers, but I don't think this is one of them.

But I can see that if someone is very heavily into state's rights, they would find Marshall objectionable. Marshall strengthened the Federal branch via broad constitutional interpretations.

Matt G said...

I agree with Jonathan on this one.
The entire system of checks and balances as we think of it in its ideal sense is based on the idea of judicial review under Marbury.

Remember too that these people were flying by the seat of their pants. Marshall was an incredible chief justice. Even his predecessor Jay thought so.

Tam said...

Oh, I don't have any real problem with it.

Although it would be more accurate to say that the Supremes gave themselves a job, rather than a promotion. I always got the feeling that the Founders were getting bored with Constitution writing by the time they got around to the Judicial branch.

"And the third branch of the Federal government will be the Judicial Branch, which will... er... do judging and stuff. Or something. Has that kid got back from the deli with those sandwiches yet or what, Tom?"