Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: July 6, 1835


7/6/1835: Chief Justice John Marshall dies.

Chief Justice John Marshall


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  1. I rag on Josh sending posthumous birthday cards or condolence cards, but this death really was significant. Just because Taney like Marshall saw slavery as natural law doesn’t mean his jurisprudence was the same in other respects.

    1. Obviously, Taney had a different judicial philosophy than Marshall, and one can’t seriously deny that.

      At the same time, because of the outrageousness of Taney’s racist rhetoric in Dred Scott, there’s a tendency to portray him as this absolute right wing revanchist, and he was nothing of the sort. The closest analogy might be Burger coming after Warren. Burger had a wildly different judicial philosophy, but he also was more interested in paring back Warren court precedents rather than overturning them wholesale, and Burger even voted to entrench and expand a few of them.

      Taney was the same way towards Marshall court precedents.

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