Jay and Ellsworth, the First Courts: Justices, Rulings and Legacy

Jay and Ellsworth, the First Courts: Justices, Rulings and Legacy

Jay and Ellsworth, the First Courts: Justices, Rulings and Legacy

Jay and Ellsworth, the First Courts: Justices, Rulings and Legacy


A fascinating exploration of the first two Supreme Courts and how they laid the groundwork for the modern-day Court.

• Biographies of key justices such as Oliver Ellsworth, John Marshall, and John Jay

• Background reference section containing A–Z entries on the people, such as George Washington and John Adams; laws and constitutional provisions, including the First Judiciary Act and Article III; and concepts, such as "judicial review" and "separation of powers," that are important to an understanding of the Jay and Ellsworth Courts


There is an extensive literature on the U.S. Supreme Court, but it contains discussion familiar largely to the academic community and the legal profession. The ABC-CLIO Supreme Court series is designed to have value to the academic and legal communities also, but each volume is intended as well for the general reader who does not possess an extensive background on the Court or American constitutional law. The series is intended to effectively represent each of fourteen periods in the history of the Supreme Court with each of these fourteen eras defined by the chief justice, beginning with John Jay in 1789. Each Court confronted constitutional and statutory questions that were of major importance to and influenced by the historical period. The Court’s decisions were also influenced by the values of each of the individual justices sitting at the time. The issues, the historical period, the justices, and the Supreme Court’s decisions in the most significant cases will be examined in the volumes of this series.

ABC-CLIO’s Supreme Court series provides scholarly examinations of the Court as it functioned in different historical periods and with different justices. Each volume contains information necessary to understand each particular Court and an interpretative analysis by the author of each Court’s record and legacy. In addition to representing the major decisions of each Court, institutional linkages are examined as well—the political connections among the Court, Congress, and the executive branch. These relationships are important for several reasons. Although the Court retains some institutional autonomy, all the Court’s justices are selected by a process that involves the other two branches. Many of the significant decisions of the Court involve the review of actions of Congress or the president. In addition, the Court frequently depends on the other two branches to secure compliance with its rulings.

The authors of the volumes in the ABC-CLIO series were selected with great care. Each author has worked extensively with the Court, the period, and the personalities about which he or she has written. ABC-CLIO wanted each of the volumes to examine several common themes, and each author agreed to work within certain guidelines. Each author was free, however, to develop the content of each volume, and . . .

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