Judicial Dikes Against Democratic Excesses

Judicial Dikes Against Democratic Excesses - Judicial Dikes...

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a. Another set of Marshall’s decisions bolstered protection against attacks on property rights b. Fletcher v. Peck (1810) i. The Georgia legislature, swayed by bribery, granted 35 million acres in the Yazoo River country (Mississippi) to private speculators ii. The next legislature, yielding to an angry public outcry, canceled the crooked transaction iii. The Supreme Court decided that the legislative grant was a contract (even though fraudulently secured) and that the Constitution forbids State laws “impairing” contracts (Art I, Sec X, para 1) iv. It was the clearest case in which the Supreme Court asserted their right to invalidate State laws c. Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) i. The New Hampshire legislature wanted to change Dartmouth from a private to a public institution by having its charter revoked ii. Dartmouth appealed the case, employing as counsel its most distinguished alumni, Daniel Webster iii. The Supreme Court ruled that the original charter must stand. It was a contract, and the Constitution protected contracts against State encroachments iv. The decision had two effects: 1. It protected businesses from domination by State governments (a charter could not be arbitrarily changed without the consent of both parties) 2. In later years, it safeguarded chartered corporations from needed public control d. Daniel Webster i. Senator who argued many Supreme Court cases ii. He was nationalistic, loose constructionalist and against States’ rights e. Marshall’s Legacy i. His decisions can still be felt today ii. He strengthened the federal Union iii. He helped to create a stable environment for businesses XV. Sharing Oregon and Acquiring Florida a. Reshaping of Foreign Policy i. America was becoming more nationalistic ii. President Monroe teamed with his nationalistic
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Judicial Dikes Against Democratic Excesses - Judicial Dikes...

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