John Marshall and the Constitution: A Chronicle of the Supreme Court

By Edward S. Corwin | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER VIII
AMONG FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS

IT is a circumstance of no little importance that the founder of American Constitutional Law was in tastes and habit of life a simple countryman. To the establishment of National Supremacy and the Sanctity of Contracts Marshall brought the support not only of his office and his command of the art of judicial reasoning but also the wholesouled democracy and unpretentiousness of the fields. And it must be borne in mind that Marshall was on view before his contemporaries as a private citizen rather more of the time, perhaps, than as Chief Justice. His official career was, in truth, a somewhat leisurely one. Until 1827 the term at Washington rarely lasted over six weeks and subsequently not over ten weeks. In the course of his thirty-four years on the Bench, the Court handed down opinions in over 1100 cases, which is probably about four times the number of

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