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The Role of Circuit Courts in the Formation of United States Law in the Early Republic

Following Supreme Court Justices Washington, Livingston, Story and Thompson
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David Lynch
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
2 - DRM Adobe

1. The Supreme Court Justices and the Circuit Court Experiment A Team Effort Why Washington, Livingston, Story, and Thompson? 2. The Federal Circuit Courts: Shaping Local and National Justice for an Emerging Republic The Politics of Federal Law The Grand Jury Charge: A Bond between Government and Citizen The Circuit Court Discourse in the Constitutional Ratification and Senate Debates The Jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Courts 'A Certain Uniformity of Decision in United States Law' Conclusion3. Bushrod Washington: The Role of Precedent and the Preservation of Vested Interests A Federalist's Journey from Revolutionary Virginia to the Supreme Court Justice Washington and the Role of Precedent in the Federal Legal System Property Rights and Commercial Law on Circuit States' Rights, the War of 1812, and SlaveryConclusion4. Henry Brockholst Livingston: Consolidating Mercantile Law The Early Years: Political Allegiances: From Federalist to Republican Commercial Law for New York State A Republican on a Federalist Supreme Court Maritime and Commercial Law for the United States Conclusion5. Joseph Story: Admiralty Expertise and the Importation of Common Law A Modernising Influence on Law and Procedure on the First Circuit Admiralty and the Enforcement of Embargo Laws Consistency Through the Sharing of Expertise The Supremacy of Federal Law The Protection of Minority Groups Importing Common Law into the Federal Legal System Conclusion6. Justice Smith Thompson: Promoting Commerce, State Sovereignty and the Protection of the Cherokee Nation State Supreme Court: Statutory Interpretation and New York 'Hard Law' Contractual Obligations on the Second Circuit and on the Court 'What is to be Left to the States?' The Cherokee Nation and the African-American Slave Conclusion
While scholars have rightly focused on the importance of the landmark opinions of the United States Supreme Court and its Chief Justice, John Marshall, in the rise in influence of the Court in the Early Republic, the crucial role of the circuit courts in the development of a uniform system of federal law across the nation has largely been ignored. This book highlights the contribution of four Associate Justices (Washington, Livingston, Story and Thompson) as presiding judges of their respective circuit courts during the Marshall era, in order to establish that in those early years federal law grew from the 'inferior courts' upwards rather than down from the Supreme Court. It does so after a reading of over 1800 mainly circuit opinions and over 2000 original letters, which reveal the sources of law upon which the justices drew and their efforts through correspondence to achieve consistency across the circuits. The documents examined present insights into momentous social, political and economic issues facing the Union and demonstrate how these justices dealt with them on circuit. Particular attention is paid to the different ways in which each justice contributed to the shaping of United States law on circuit and on the Court and in the case of Justices Livingston and Thompson also during their time on the New York State Supreme Court.

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