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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

A Marshall Court Myth

One standard story about John Marshall is that he began the practice of having the Supreme Court (or at least the Court's majority) speak in one voice through a single opinion. Turns out this is not true. You can find Supreme Court opinions in 1799 written by Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth that are self-styled opinions of the Court. This practice was far less common until Marshall took over and did not occur in major cases, but the break between Marshall and his predecessor is not as sharp as we are sometimes told. 

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on December 4, 2019 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

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