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قراءة كتاب John Marshall and the Constitution, a Chronicle of the Supreme Court

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‏اللغة: English
John Marshall and the Constitution, a Chronicle of the Supreme Court

John Marshall and the Constitution, a Chronicle of the Supreme Court

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7

as one excellent in council as well as in formal discussion, and his democratic manners and personal popularity with all classes were a pronounced asset for any cause he chose to espouse. Marshall's part on the floor of the Convention was, of course, much less conspicuous than that of either Madison or Randolph, but in the second rank of the Constitution's defenders, including men like Corbin, Nicholas, and Pendleton, he stood foremost. His remarks were naturally shaped first of all to meet the immediate necessities of the occasion, but now and then they foreshadow views of a more enduring value. For example, he met a favorite contention of the opposition by saying that arguments based on the assumption that necessary powers would be abused were arguments against government in general and "a recommendation of anarchy." To Henry's despairing cry that the proposed system lacked checks, he replied: "What has become of his enthusiastic eulogium of the American spirit? We should find a check and control, when oppressed, from that source. In this country there is no exclusive personal stock of interest. The interest of the community is blended and inseparably connected with that of the individual.... When we consult the common good, we consult our own." And when Henry argued that a vigorous union was unnecessary because "we are separated by the sea from the powers of Europe," Marshall replied: "Sir, the sea makes them neighbors of us."

It is worthy of note that Marshall gave his greatest attention to the judiciary article as it appeared in the proposed Constitution. He pointed out that the principle of judicial independence was here better safeguarded than in the Constitution of Virginia. He stated in one breath the principle of judicial review and the doctrine of enumerated powers. If, said he, Congress "make a law not warranted by any of the powers enumerated, it would be considered by the judges as an infringement of the Constitution which they are to guard; they would not consider such a law as coming within their jurisdiction. They would declare it void." * On the other hand, Marshall scoffed at the idea that the citizen of a State might bring an original action against another State in the Supreme Court. His dissections of Mason's and Henry's arguments frequently exhibit controversial skill of a high order. From Henry, indeed, Marshall drew a notable tribute to his talent, which was at the same time proof of his ability to keep friends with his enemies.