John Marshall

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 530 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1903 edition. Excerpt: ...this; and unless the jurisdiction of this court might be exercised over it, the Constitution would be violated, and the injured party be unable to bring his case before that tribunal to which the people of the United States have assigned all such cases. It is most true that this court will not take jurisdiction Dutyofcourttodeclde if ' should not; but it equally true oaesbrought before it that it mus(. take jurisdictioll if it should. The judiciary cannot, as the Legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the con fines of the Constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the Constitution. Questions may Supreme Court m-SrtrfjcVffiSsE occur which we would g'ady avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can-states-do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty. In doing this, on. the present occasion, we find this tribunal invested with appellate jurisdiction in all cases arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States. We find no exception to this grant, and we cannot insert one. To escape the operation of these comprehensive words, the counsel for the defendant has mentioned instances in which the Constitution might be violated without giving jurisdiction to this court. These words, therefore, however universal in their expression, must, he contends, be limited and controlled in their construction by circumstances. One of these instances is the grant by a State of a patent of nobility. The court, he...

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About the author (2009)

John Marshall is Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of John Locke: Resistance, Religion, and Responsibility (1994).

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