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Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Ultimate Research Assistant

I am half-way through my draft of the Bushrod Washington book, and so I'll start sharing more tidbits from my research. Here is one I found charming:

In the 1790, Bushrod published a two-volume set of reports on the decisions of Virginia's highest court. (Bushrod and Marshall were directly involved in some of those cases.) Thirty years later, Bushrod decided to publish a second edition. He was not satisfied with one of the reports and wanted to check the official record of the case kept in Richmond. Whom did he send as his research assistant? The Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall got the record, went through it, and then wrote Bushrod a detailed report on what he found. I think, though, that he was not included in any dagger cite.  

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on February 20, 2020 at 08:16 PM | Permalink


Interesting! I noticed in reading the Judiciary Act of 1802 that the Chief Justice by statute was the circuit justice for the District of Virginia; I wonder if they drafted that knowing that Marshall lived in Richmond most of the time.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Feb 22, 2020 3:00:11 AM


Marshall lived in Richmond most of the time.

Posted by: Gerard | Feb 21, 2020 7:05:43 AM

Was Marshall often down in Richmond riding circuit at the time? Curious how it came up.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Feb 21, 2020 1:57:21 AM

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