THE SUPREME COURT  | Episode 1 Excerpt | PBS
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THE SUPREME COURT | Episode 1 Excerpt | PBS


♪ Music ♪ ♪ Drumming ♪ ♪ Drumming ♪ (Cheering) Jefferson was building a country and he had a very extended vision of where things were going to go, and I think he became pretty hardcore about people who got in the way, and he saw Marshall as someone who was getting in the way ♪ Acoustic Guitar Music ♪ The swearing-in of Thomas Jefferson has got to be one of the great ironic moments in American history because you have Chief Justice Marshall swearing in his second cousin, Thomas Jefferson, and both men, pretty much by that time, hated one another. ♪ Acoustic Guitar Music ♪ They feel that the policies represented by the other person was detrimental to American civilization, it was as fundamental as that. So you have Marshall holding the Bible, Jefferson swearing to uphold the constitution, which Marshall was absolutely sure he was going to destroy. ♪ Acoustic Guitar Music ♪ The first fight between Jefferson and Marshall was a fight picked by John Adams on his way out of town. That quarrel would spill into the United States supreme court. ♪ Flute Music ♪ On Paper Marbury Vs. Madison involved a small technical question of administrative housekeeping, but in a political swirl of 1801 this seemingly straightforward legal case would determine the future of the court, and test the cunning and ability of the new Forty-Five-Year-Old Chief justice. ♪ Acoustic Guitar Music ♪ Marbury Vs Madison Began with another breathtaking act of partisanship by the outgoing President John Adams. Just weeks before Jefferson’s inauguration the Lame-duck Federalist congress had passed legislation swelling the Federal courts and Adams stuffed them full of anti-Jeffersonians. At the very end, literally the last day of Adams presidency, He was busy signing commissions for these federal judgeships including these justices of the Peace. And the power got very late, and he had to get the commission signed and then they were sent over to the secretary of state, who happened to be John Marshall. Marshall had to put the seal of the United States on it, and then they were to be delivered to these designated justices of the peace. John Marshall knows he can’t deliver them all, he gives about half of them to his brother James to deliver, James doesn’t get around to delivering them before time runs out. The key lesson of Marbury Vs Madison is don’t give important documents to your brother. ♪ Acoustic Guitar Music ♪

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