tv Richard Brookhiser John Marshall CSPAN December 30, 2018 1:01pm-2:00pm EST
enjoyable. >> guest: great to meet you. >> this year, booktv marx our 20th year of bring you the country's top nonfiction authors and their latest books. find us every weekend on c-span2 or online at booktv.org. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. we're going get our program started now. there will be coffee and food still in the back into if you
want to get up, please do so. so, good morning. thank you all for coming to this forum hosting rick brookhiser, discussing this new book on john marshall. and a special welcome to tower friend ted manhattan institute, ore cosponsors today. and to our c-span audience. my name is lindsey craig, president of national review institute, the nonprofit organization supporting the national review mission. it's my pleasure to welcome you. national review magazine which you have known and loved for over 60 years, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of nri and our mission is to preserve and promote the legacy of william f. bulker lie jurors and support the topic talent at the magazine he offend. important writers like rick brookhiser. this past february was ten years since wfb's passing, a valuable opportunity to reflect on his contributions to our nation. we held successful events all around the country, timed be not
only nostalgic and also inspirational. we real a's the young staff at our organizations were just barely reaching their teens when bill passed. so them buckly and his passionate advocacy of conservative principle, sis civil and inclusive manner, those could be just words another wikipedia page so we took those legacy events to over 15 college campuses. we were at berkeley, last night at kings college and a forum with rich lowerey, national reviews editor in chief, in execution but the important views at buckley eespoused. i as ronald reagan warned freedom can be lost in a generation. we must continue to read, appreciate the fill osi and experiments, success failures and reflect with gratitude for those who have paved the way before us and that is an important reason why we support
rick brook highsers work on the -- brookhiser's work on the american founding, thanks to sports we will town to stand up for the principle values that have made kiss country great, exceptional, and we're at the time afraid to say it. at o upcoming idea summit in march we'll highlight that, making the case for he american experiment is our title. so please come join us. our featured guest this morning is rick brookhiser, journalist, i biographer and historian. he first published in nr at the age of 15, and has held men roles over the years. today he is senior editor at national review and he is most widely known for his series of biographs on the american founders, including at lex derham ton, morris, and george washington. rick has been awarded many honors but notable is the national humanities medal in
2008. we're so fortunate that he has dedicated with a strong passion to documenting the founding and bringing it to new audiences. after rick talk because his book, he will sit with rich lowery to excuse a now more topics in death and there are note card on your table which will be collected for rich to incorporate into this discussion with rick. so please enjoy the discussion with rick brookhiser, join me in welcoming him. [applause] >> i'm always glad to be speak to go ounion league club because i was married here 38 years ago. still married. same wife. i just want to thank one person the man to whom the book is did
okayedded. louis, i met million in 1928 covering hi. for national review when he was running for governor against mario cuomo. he lost the race and we're still -- new york is still suffering from that unto the second generation but america hand benefited because lou was freed by that defeat to pursue his great love, american history, and what he has done for american history over the years is stellar with the gilder layerman institute, the exhibition of the new york historical society in 2004, and alexander hamilton. we were for hamilton before he was cool. so, it was great honor for me to be able to dedicate this back to him. now, i'm sorry the supreme court has been so out of the news in the last few month us but i'll trying to make this talk relevant anyway. and the reason that it is in the
news is ultimately the fourth chief justice, john john marshall, the man who made the federal judiciary the peer of the legislative and of the executive and this morning i just want to say a few thing but him personally and want to talk about how he led the court, i want to look at one of his important cases, and then i want to talk but some of his critics,ing about the his lifetime and afterwards. the most important thing to say but john marshall is that even though he spent most of his adult life in richmond, one month a year in washington, dc, when the court was in session, several years in philadelphia, six months in paris, but all his life he was country boy. he is was been in virginia, the first house he lived in the was a log cabin. the second house was a frame
house. the third house had glass in the windows. so this is -- isn't quite daniel boone. not onty front tier but it was definitely a life in the country, and he retained his country habits and attitude all his life. the word that people use over and over again to describe him is simple. people meeting him for the first time, people who knew him for years, describe him as simple. he didn't care how he dressed. when he was riding circuit in raleigh, north carolina, one time, he forgot to pack a pair of pants and when he arrived the local tailors were unable so supply him so he covered himself with his judicial robe all the time he was there. his hero was cut by his wife. if his wife hadn't cut it, who notes what he would have look like. very simple attitudes toward
drinking. he liked it. he liked it a lot. when he became chief justice, the court had a custom already that the justices, when they deliberated, they would hear cases during the day, then they would go to the boarding house they were staying in and discuss them over dinner and after dinner. the courts custom was that it could only have wine at these discussions, if it was raining outside. i assume that was to cheer themselves up. so, marshall, when he became chief justice, he would ask a colleague to look out the window tell him what the weather was and then brother story would say, well, the sky is perfectly clear and marshall would say our jurisdiction is so vast that by the law of chance it must be raining somewhere to wine was always served to their malcourt. marshall loved simple exercise, and simple games.
he walked several miles before breakfast. every day of his life. until he simply became too teenle to do it anymore. husband nickname in the army about silver heels, partly because his mother sowed him sockeds with white patches in he heels and also because he could jump over a bar restenning 0 hen heads of two men. his favorite game was like horseshoes played with silver rings and the point what to pitch them over a post and people who saw marshall playing this game said he would devote as much attention to deciding who was closer to the meg has he would on his great supreme court decisions. thy the other important thing about him was who he most admired.
one of he men was certainly his father, thomas marshall, tom mar mar shoal home-schoolinged him and dedicated him to being a lawyer, but the other man he admired was the father of the country, george washington. marshall volunteered when he was 19 years old. to join the virginia militia in 1775. then the following year he joined the kent anyone tall army. in the revolution up until 1781, almost the entire length of it. he fought in seven battles, in three of. the commanded by washington, bran diwynn, german town, and mon mouth, he also spent the visit at valley forge where washington again was in command. so, marshall saw his commander in chief in defeat, saw him in victory, and he saw him at this terrible winter when the army was unclothed, unfed, and unpaid.
and marshall's conclusion from these experiences was that washington was the rock on which the revolution rested. he was the man who saw the project through, who brought it to success. when washington returned his commission to congress at the end of the war in 1783, marshall wrote a letter a few days later to an old friend of his, and he said, at length, then, the military career of the greatest man on earth is closed. may happiness attend him whether he goes. whenever i think of that superior man, my full heart overflows with gratitude. this was not a trivial feeling. a marshall followed washington again after the war, when washington and other leaders decided the american form of government needed to be changed. the articles of confederation under which we declared our independence were not sufficient
to carry out the cast that a government had to do so we needed a new constitution. washington presided over the constitutional convention in 1787, then a year later, john marshall was a delegate to the virginia ratifying convention where he took a strong pro-constitution stand. then he followed washington again in 1798, the first two party system had arisen, the federalist vs. the republicans, the first republican party the ancestor of today's democrats, the party of jefferson and mad disson, the federalists were the party of washington, adams, alexander hamilton, and marshall was a federalist and in 1798, washington summoned him to mount vernon and told him he had to run for congress, the federalist party was weak in virginia and washington thought it needed new, younger blood. marshall didn't want to run because he was lawyer in private
practice, making good money, he had a growing family, he was buying land, he needed the income. so he kept refusing, and then he decided, i can't keep saying no to the greatest man on earth. just have to get up at the crack of dawn and get out of here. but washington had gotten up first and put on his old uniform. so, marshall, as he put it, he acceded to this representation. he ran for congress, he won, and then it was from congress that president john adams picked him to be secretary of state after he had a cabinet shakeup. and then at the end of adams' term, adams loses the election of 1800 to thomas jefferson, their rematch. adams had beaten him narrowfully 1796, but 1800 was a blue wave. jefferson won the white house and jefferson's party took both
houses of congress from the federalists. so in this lame duck period, adams and his secretary of state are trying to fill the federal judiciary with federalists. and then adams gets a letter from the then-current chief quite, oliver ellsworth, ellsworth said he had gout, hi health was bad so he was leaving the job adams had to fill this post. so he -- the name he sent to the senate was the name of the first man to be the chief justice of the united states, john jay, great spymaster, diplomat, federalist, author. he was chief justice from 1789 to 1795 and then left to be governor of new york. so adams sent his name to the senate and the senate confirmed him. then adams got a hurt from jay, saying he wasn't going to take the job. jay said the federal judiciary
lacks energy, weight and dignity. he wasn't going to be chief justice again. so, we have to imagine adams and john john marshall sitting in adams' office in the still unfished white house, the exterior shell is done but the interior is a construction site. and adams says to marshall, who shall i nominate now? and martial shade i don't know, sir. adams says, i believe i'll nominate you. this is how john marshall gets the job in february of 1801. the other man who is very important in marshall's life is the winner of the election of 1800, thomas jefferson. marshall's second cousin once removed. marshall detests him and jefferson hates him in return. marshall didn't hate many people. jefferson hated a fair number of
people but marshall was always high on his list. in jefferson's mind, marshall was a sew fist. he would twist anything to a predetermine legal conclusion. marshall -- jefferson warned joseph story before he got on the court you must never give a direct answer to any question that marshall asks you. i he asked me if the sun were shining i would say, i don't know, sir, i cannot tell. marshall thought that jefferson was demagogue. that he talked a great game but letting congress run thing us but he was secretly directing it behind the scenes and riding waves of popular sentiment to serve his own popularity. he also fought that jefferson had been a disloyal secretary of state, serving george washington's foreign policies with one hand while unmining them with another.
so, in march 1801, the one cousin, the new chief justice, swears in the other cousin, the new president. now, marshall comes on to a court -- only six justices in those days -- all federalists. all been appointed by washington or adams. but in only 11 years, after jefferson's administration and james madison's in he partisan balance of the court has changed from two federalists to five republicans. congress has increased the size of the court to seven. so, federalists had died or retired, and they had all been replaced by republican judges. and, yet, all these republican justices followed marshall's lead. so how did he do that? i think the first reason was the simplicity i talked about. his genial manners, he liked his colleagues, his colleagues liked
being with him. this is the irreducible basis of success in any political field. marshall also practiced deference. if there were colleagues who were more expert in areas of law than he was, he would let them take the lead. if it was admiralty law, justice story. if is it was land title, justice todd. then when you show deference you get deference in return so it's not just the right thing to do. it's the smart thing to do. a third factor was that marshall was always the smartest man in the room. and many of his colleagues were brilliant surist themselves but all acknowledged his superiority. his mind was not quick. it took him a while to get going. but once he did, he was almost implacable. william wert who was advance slow cat before the supreme
court, later attorney general, describe marshall's mind as the atlantic ocean, everybody else's mind were mere popped ponds. then at the first foughtor is length oftonnure help was chief justice for 34 years, stale record. he will swear in five presidents in nine inaugurals. he picked by john adams and goes to the second term of andrew jackson. then me middle of that then e tenure theirs an 11 year perilled, 1812 to '23 where there are no personnel changes on the supreme court. only had one such period ever again. so, marshall is there a long time to exercise his geniality, his deference, and his intellect. probably his most famous case, the one we were all taught about in school, is mar marbrn vs. mid
madison, the most important thing was not the principle of judicial review. that was already well known. alexander hamilton hat written about it in federallest papers, marshall spoke about it in the virginia ratifying convention but it's a long opinion, 9,000 words and the news when it because issued us that 8500 word of it are a scolding of the jefferson administration. telling it has misbehaved and william marbury was entitled to a commission as the justice of the peace? district of columbia and the jefferson administration had nod delivered this commission to him and they ought to have done it. marshalls decided that marbury can't get it because the means of redress that he is seeking is in fact something that the supreme court cannot do, the law that gave them that power was unconstitutional. but most of the decision is
shaking his finger at his second cousin's administration. the decisions that were most controversial in marshal's lifetime were she supremacy decisions where the court asserts its supremacy over state courts, and there was a series of these, fletcher versus peck, dartmouth v. wardword, cohens versus virginia, mccull vs. maryland but the case i want to talk about this morning, because of its economic significance, was fletcher vs. peck. and this had to do with a land deal in georgia in the 1790s, georgia was the poorest of the 13 colonies but it had vast backcountry that went all the way to the mississippi river. now the tied alabama and mississippi. and georgia realized it could
pay it debts if itself could sell the land off. so it made a deal in 1795 to sell 35 million acres for a penny-1/2 an acre. every member of the georgia legislature was bribed to make this sale. the going rate was thousand dollars. one legislator took only $600 and said he wasn't greedy. when word of this get out the people of georgia replaced all of these legislators at the next election with a new set, and they passed a repeal act, which nullified the sale and also forbade it from ever appearing in a georgia court. the roo peel act said that any officer of the state who so much as referred to the land sale would be fined $1,000. so georgia has undone the sale and it's made it impossible to litigate it in a georgia court. now, of course, the purchasers of the lan were not intending to
move to alabama or mississippi. they were going to flip their purchases immediately for a profit. this is very old american real estate story. so, then the second purchasers were going to flip their tracts in turn, all -- each set hoping to make a profit. but this would only work if the sale were valid. so, the first thing the purchasers did was they get a legal opinion from alexander hamilton, who was no longer in government, a practicing as a lawyer in new york. and hamilton wrote a brief opinion saying that the sale would probably be upheld because of article 1, section 10 of the constitution, which forbids the states from impairing the obligation of contracts. he said the original sale would be considered a contract, and if this were taken to court, the courts would probably uphold its validity.
but how could the purchasers bring it to court? georgia has preevented it from being litigated in georgia courts. the 11th amendment forbids citizens of another state from suing a state. but if a citizen of one state sues a citizen of another state, that can be a matter for the federal courts. so, robert fletcher of new hampshire sues john peck of massachusetts, who sold him a tract of georgia land. fletcher said, you didn't have a legitimate title to it because the repeal act has nullified the original sale. i want my purchase price back. it was $3,000. give me my money back show. case goes to court. it takes a while for it to reach the supreme court. it's argued in 1809. there's a flaw in one of the proceeding so it's reargued in
1810. and marshall writes his decision. he follows hamilton's legal reasoning, he says that retracting a sale is unjust, it's also probably impossible because he says the past cannot be re-called by the most absolute power, but his third and most important point is that it is unconstitutional. because article 1, section 10, forebits states from impairing the obligation of contracts. then what marshall adds to this argument -- and it's startling to read it. he says article 1, section 10, is a bill of rights for the people of the states. of course we think of the bill of rights as the first ten amendments, protecting freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to keep and bear arms, no
unreasonable -- no warrantless searches and seizures but marshall is saying, no. before the first ten amendments there was already a bill of rights in the constitution and this protected the obligation of contracts. the john marshall contracts are so important that protecting them becomes something that we would call a bill of rights. the reason i focus on this case is that when we think of the founding fathers, most responsible for our economic system, we naturally think of hamilton. especially after the musical. but he deserves that reputation. but hamilton's plans and his projects needed a legal arm tour to support them -- arm mature to support them and that legal support comes from the decision of john marshall his court. fletcher vs. peck, another contract case decision, dart moth very woodward, and final lay commerce clause decision
gibbons very ogden and these are the pillars of the american economic system. marshall had critics in his lifetime. obviously a jefferson is one of the most potent. mostly jefferson does this in letters to friends, complaining about marshall and this is a life-long theme of his correspondence, jefferson's ox to marshall is that constitutional questions should not be left in the hands of a body that is irresponsible to the people. justices of the supreme court are picked ultimately by the people because they're nominated by the president, confirmed by the senate, and we elect the pratt and the senate. so we have a role in picking them. but once they have their jobs, they hold them for good behavior. they never have to stand before a popular judgment again.
and this violated jefferson's sense of how a democracy should work. so, in addition to simply abusing marshall, he tried to think of alternative ways to adjudicate constitutional questions. one idea of his was that whenever there was such a question, we should call another constitutional convention. he suggested this in a letter to james madison and madison, as he so often did, threw cold water on the suggestion. he said this would be tardy, troublesome and expensive to have an ongoing series of constitutional conventions. another marshall critic was senator richard johnson, most famous for having killed tecumseh in the war of 1812 and second most famous for his campaign song, rips, rumpses, i killed tecumseh.
but he was a principled, small d democrat and the early 1820's he offered a series of constitutional amendments to limit the power of the court. wound would allow congress to restrict its jurisdiction, to take certain cases out of the court's pursue. another proposed to give the senate a veto on supreme court decisions. a third would have required a super majority of justices to rule on constitutional questions. none of those amendments ever became law. they were mostly squelch in committee or defeated in the senate. then long after johnson and jefferson and marshall died, abraham lincoln was also a critic of the supreme court, particularly of the dead scott decision of 1857. the second time that's court overturned a law of congress. this law was the missouri
compromise. chief. >> tawny explained that this violationed the fifth amendments which says that there can be no take offering property without and situation so, therefore, congress has no right to forbid a profit owner from taking his human property into any territory of the federal government. lincoln attacked this decision from the day it was rendered until his first inaugural, when he had been sworn in by chief justice tawny, who one witness said looked like a galvanizeed corpse. lincoln said that the parties to any suit that comes to the supreme court have to abide by its decision. so, therefore, poor dred scott had to remain a slave, but he also said that these decisions could not have value as precedence unless they matched
certain criteria. he said they had to be unanimous, he said they should also show no apparent partisan bias. if you used those criteria that winds out a lot of supreme court decisions, not only dred scott but many others, including some in marshall's own lifetime. to this is another proposal that has never taken flesh. and the issue is still with us. whenever a political party feels on the short end of the stick from the supreme court, their thoughts turns to ways of restricting to the court's power but we have never found the magic balance yet. marshall died in 1835, andrew jackson gave a very gracious tribute to him. much more gracious than anything jefferson would have said, than marshall said about jefferson but the most gracious tribute came from a club in richmond,
quoits club, where marshall played, and they ruled since john marshall was irreplace able the club should always have one fewer member. so thank you very much. [applause] >> that was mav louse, bill buckley, what he values he most 0 was the quality of the words which this led him to make some poor choices over the course of hissed forship of national review. gave liberal writers like gary wills and joan didion they're start or increased promise by publishing them in the ages of in national view. he had to remind big we are conservative magazine but fortunately, he did not always
have to choose between the quality of the words and ideologyol sound in which would be bad for national review but rick brookhiser exemplified what he wanted a wry iter to, eloquent, cultured, suggest sink and witty and we can't be certain he is sure of what national review is doing, don't get the memos anymore but something i am completely confident in every time we publish something by rick brookhiser that bill buckley would love that and that goes for his latest book. our educational system is increasingly fail us when it comes to history, shunting i assize or dive extorting it but we have had a great revival of history writing and biograph in the country and rick was front runner and catalyzer of the trend with his wonderful book about george washington, written 20 years ago or so now.
so, rick, i thought we would dig in a little bit about marshall and then maybe talk about your craft and take questions which people will write on the note cards. can you tell us more about the sources of marshall's ambition for the courts. was this a product of a long-term view of what role it should have in our system or is it some of kind of a maddison union --view that anyone is going to want to increase the standing and power and prestige of their branch or department of government. >> well, certainly there was that element in it. marshall comes the court after a decade of frenzies politics 'the 1790 was the first decade
of partisan politics and because it was all brand new, it was really quite mad. we wring our hangs over our politics now but i tell people, go back to the 1790s. it is just worse. it's more frenzied politics are killing each other. hamilton wasn't the only one to guy in a duel. one of marshall's colleagues on the supreme court, republican appointee, livingston, killed a federalist in a duel help shot the man in the groin and he bled out in five minutes, and this never came up in confirmation. [laughter] >> did he have a high school yearbook? [laughter] >> so there is that partisan edge to marshall when he first comes on the court, but we have to remember his home schooling. his father gave him william
blackstone's commentaries on the laws of england to read in their little cabin. thomas marshall was one of the american subscribers to the first edition because the way become publishing worked you good at list of miami announces they would buy this book. they were the subscribers and then the company would print it. so blackstone was the text in the english-speaking world for the law. he really tried to summarize the english common law and explain it and organize it, and so marshall is learning this in the virginia backcountry, and this really sets the direction of his mind. >> so, you talked about how important marshall's influence was with his colleagues. so, in studying of the founding and observations about life in general, if you had to choose what is more important in terms
having influence over others, personality or brain power? >> well, it's tough with marshall because he has both. certainly initially personality. -- well, initially and then over the long haul because they're coming to washington every january to february, the way the court works is that they had a winter session, and it came to last about a month. and they're all san diego a boarding house and the -- all staying in a boarding house, the same boarding house, and their cheek by jowl and having their meals together. you can imagine if they didn't get along this would be -- get kind of funky, and marshall is always trying to smooth rough edges if they arise. at the end of his tenure there's a justice henry baldwin, andrew jackson put on the court, and the problem with baldwin -- he was smart but intermittently
insane hitch missed one whole year when marshall was chief justice because he was mad. could you imagine -- well, justice alito won't be with us because he in proceed -- moore for a year but when bald within wasn't man he was extremely difficult. he was very prickly and hated justice story for some reason. story returned it and there's a letter of marshall to story saying, i was if brother baldwin and he made remarks about you which were not unfriendly. so you can see him just trying to smooth the roughled feathers, and i think that is sort of the container of the vessel but then the heart is the power of this man's mind , once he fully exercise is, and someone
ircompared him to a great bird taking night, flops around but once the gets airborne there are powerful wing beats. >> very submitted federalist, tell us why you, theists went ongoing? pound for pound arguably they have more talent, it's hamilton's vision of the country comes closer to fruition than jefferson, and it's a rich vein that runs down through lincoln and teddy roosevelt. why do they end up losing out to jeffersonian and dying off. >> their their antiwar party in the hard core of federal list parties, including some close friends of marshall were antiwar and were defeatist and secessionists and want britain to win and break the union up. take new england out of it. governor morris from new york,
wanted to new york to leave, too. this the author of the constitution, right? the draftsman of the constitution and his conclusion was, well, didn't work so time to tear it up and start over. so this is really extremist feeling and when the war of 1812 end inside what is more or less a victory, they just looked terrible. the other thing is that for all of thomas jefferson's occasional whacky notions and impractical ideas, he did really believe that most people would be mostly right most of the time. he was a true small d democrat. and that, i think, connects him more firmly to what america is about than even the federalists were, even their vision of our prosperity and expansion and our -- the way we would relate
to each other economically, but jefferson got that political thing and it was really his, i think, most basic conviction. >> you start off your book with an entry duke but marshall, and washington, which touched on their relationship and their talk -- just struck by another indication the incredible influence of washington, because be a fairly significant contribution know american history if you were just a mentor to alexander hamilton and john marshall, let alone weighing the revolution and becoming the first american president. how important was that reps soil to marshall and have you read marshall residents biography of washington? >> oh, yes. it's five volumes. i can't recommend it. i think he choked because he admired his subject so, and so there's a kind of air of too
much obvious importance that stiffens it. the best thing he said about washington was not his biography. it was one sentence him is in congress when he word comes that washington has died, december of 1799 and he is the representative who informs the house and in the course of his speech he says he was first in war, first in peace, first in the hears of his country men help took that line from heaven -- henry lee, another congressman and war vet but good writing is good borrowing as bill knew and that expresses what marshall thought, first in war, first in peace, first in hi heart. >> so for conservative viewers, wondering perhaps why should conservatives revere a man john marshall who did so much to establish or cement the
federalist supremacy within our statement, how would you answer that. >> well, marshall's view of the supremacy he is establishing is that when a case comes to the supreme court, the supreme court decides it. they're not roaming around looking for things of they're setting there. theirroll is passive. and people disagree about something, they take it to court somewhere, up it come through the system and arrives in their laps, and they have to decide it, and if there should be a conflict between a law and the constitution, which happens only once in marshall's 34 years, he says we have to decide what the law is. so, it's not maybe -- maybe his view of supremacy is a little different from what we experience recently. >> so, a couple questions from the audience.
why didn't marshall recuse himself in mar bury vs. madison? >> well, this is a great question. there's another recent marshall book and which said he suborned perjury in setting the whole thing up. it's a complicate story but the commission that william marbury got as justice of the peace was issued but president john adams but the man who stamped the great seal of the united states on it and sealed it and prepared it for delivery was the secretary of state, john marshall, and john marshall told his brother, james marshall, here, delivers these commissions, and james apparently didn't take marbury's along which is i would it was sit owing then desk when the jefferson union's came na and they didn't want to be the postman. it's not leaving the office so
this is the ore unof the suit. why didn't he recuse himself? there were a number of things where justices would not recuse themselves. before muck cull vs. maryland, case involving the second bank of the united states, marshall sold his bank stock but i did see other justices in other cases cases who were giving tips to relatives based on cases the court is hearing, just kind of wild stuff. so, standards have tightened up. >> how did marshall react to jackson's resistance to the decision on removing the cherokees. >> well, the whole jackson presidency was dismaying to him. jefferson, of course, they had tangled but there was a quality of jefferson that he could get very exorcized over things and then he would leave them alone.
if he lost, all right, he would move on. andrew jackson never moved on. he was just had a will and a follow-through, and marshall hoped he would not be re-elected. his hope, i believe, was that if someone else won, marshall would retire and then associate justice story would be promoted to be chief justice, and marshall even attends in that election cycle -- attendses the first political convention in american history which is the anti-masonic party. invite as an eminent person to come and -- come to their convention and i think he is probably vetting them to see how serious they are. he is thinking, how can we beat this guy in could these people be the one. we hear but the anti-masonic party today and seems like a crazy thing, but people were alarmed that there was this
group with secret oaths and ranks and andrew jackson belongs it to. so 0 populist way of outflanking the populist president but of course jackson gets re-elected and as far as the cherokee decision goes, marshall just has to live with it. jackson would not see that the law was enforced and it wasn't pressed to the final stage. the final stage would have been if samuel worcester, the imprinted missionary to the cheer key whosees bringing the law enforcement worcester would have to tell his attorneys that the decision is not being followed. georgia is not obeying the decision, therefore the president -- the court must notify the president of dismiss he must execute the laws. but at the same time that this is happening, the nullification crisis with south carolina over the tariff is coming to a boil.
and will georgia join south carolina in the reand is citizen of the mission mary is leaned on miss new england religious employers and say, drop this lawsuit. you don't want to split the country because of your problem. so he did. so we never reached the point of the ultimate clash. >> the question of the hour, whose side would marshall be on in the back and forth between president trump and chief justice roberts over trump attack on obama judge who stayed one of his immigration actions. >> well, i can't imagine marshall tweeting. or doing any public expression outside of his decision as chief justice. he wrote letters to people but the very deliberately did not do
anything in public more than that. i think he would certainly agree -- i mean it's not that trump is a genius to have noticed this but there are politics involve in how judges are picked and where they come from and how hey decide and marshall knew this better than anybody. but i think he would have tried to move the court in the direction of roberts' ideal. marshall was a federalist but he was not an out there federalist. didn't lead with this chin. he reigned his court -- reined his court. in there were a come of times where instead of confronting jefferson as frontally as federalists would have liked, including fellow justices her steps back because he done want to get the court into an open political fight with the white house. so, i think that ideal of these
justices as being, yes, publicity by the political process about then apart from it and beyond it was something that he wanted to have the court embody. >> so seven or eight minutes we have left, want to wooden the aperture and talk about your craft as historian. how do you choose your subjects? >> well, i chose this one because an old friend of mine, who is a professor at yale law school, told me to write this book, and he told me to write my last book, the lincoln book. he gave me the title for that book, and i thought about it for a second and i thought, that's a great idea. so, -- >> has he given you your next book? >> no. jeanie gave my my mex book. so he has given me two books, jeanie has bin me three, jeanie has the lead. my first biography was george baz. hamilton is a natural follow
from that. wanted to do governor morris nor third but my publisher said, no, you can do adams or andrew jackson, so i picked the adams, then i went 0 to more russian i take suggestions and sometimes i come up with me own ideas. it's different. >> why hasn't you done jefferson yet. >> i'm always doing jefferson he pops up in all these books and he is very important in the marshall back laws -- because he his he an tapping nist. marshall is like br'er rabbiter, always gets away from him but jefferson has a point. this small d democratic option is a serious important and unrablable point am tension in the system we have in never going to get rid of it. jefferson, thick would be very hard to do frontally.
i think of his mind as like a big house with a lot of rooms and they don't all have connecting doors. there's something kind of odd and segmented but the way he lived and thought and that would be very tough to get at. >> do you -- how do you research? do you research as you go or do you sit down and burrow in for months or a year -- >> i spend, like -- my books-under 80,000 word or 200-plus page size spend a year of reading only and then a year of writing in which i'm also reading, and the one thing that has changed of the 20-plus years i've been doing this is google books. old books online. if i want, like are senator jones' memoirs from the -- i even saw -- i read online a
revolutionary war veteran's pension request because this is the only evidence we have that marshall's injured at the battle of germantown. he never mentioned it. but a fellow soldier said this in his pension request, and you can go online and read this man's handwriting. just the damnest thing. >> ever get stuck on a research question or with writers block? >> never writers block. if i'm stuck on a research question i ask my dear friend, nicole, who has a ph.d in history and look for at the gilder layerman institute and can figure out everything the one thing in the marshall book, one of the famous case is is kole runs vs. virginia and ahad a hard time finding anything about the cullens. they sold out of state lottery tickets in virginia and virginia
funded them and there is nothing but the cohens in all the other biographs and i think it's fossilized antisemitism. think albert beverage who did a pulitzer prize win northwestern 1919, lottery selled named cohens. just dismissed them, was uncurious them and then other biographers following in his footstepped did the same thing if want to no who were these anymore so nicole found an article until maryland historical journal from 1923 or soming. the kole hence of maryland and told me the whole family history from bavaria. >> you have a wonderful blush referred to your million malis style, 80,000 words is a substantial work but you do not
write doorstops. is that's a matter of choice or your style? >> i guess it's style. there's a place for this big books. if you want to know everything or almost everything that can be known and you don't want to read the collected papers, which are volumes and volumes, that's what those books do. but i'm trying to tell you the story, the whole arc of the life, but focus on what is most important about these people to us. so, yes, i'm interested in marshall's marriage, some of his family background, but i'm mostly interested in his career and in his cases and who the litigants were. how did this get to the court. >> do the cases present a unique challenge in writing this? ever think as your digging into these cases what this is why i didn't good to law school and back a lawyer? >> well, that was a constant
fear. i didn't go to law school. i have even less legal education than marshall had. he only had one semester at william & mary but the professor was george with so that's pretty good. i had worries about this and i got some early guidance from knowledgeable scholars who gave me some tips and pointers, and it was just a matter of being patient and trying to figure out what was going on. didn't always do it. marshall's opinion on treason and the trial of aaron burr, it's huge. a 20,000 word opinion and seems to me there's a lot of wheel-spinning in that. he goes through this english sources on the law of treason and into it and into it, and since the basic question is, there was no act of war upon the
united states proven, why does he have to -- that's the nub of the case. but that's just a layman's objection. >> ladies and gentlemen, the book is "john marshall." please thank rick brookhiser. [applause] >> c-span launched book of the 20 years ago on c-span 2. and since then, we have covered thousands of authors and book festivals, spanning over 54,000 hours. in 2010, novelist sal mop rushdie appeared on the monthly callin program, "in depth." >> in order to create great art
you have to go to some kind of edge that it doesn't happen in -- if you want to inmotivate, want to do things that have not been done before and want to increase the sum total of what we can know and feel and understand, and therefore what we can be, you need to go to the frontier and push it out. so, those works of chart take those kind risk are the one is like the most. >> you can watch necessary all other book tv programs from the past 20 years of booktv.org. tall the author's name and the word book in the search bar at the top of the page. >> it's another holiday weekend with free more days of book there. null wednesday, at 8:00 a.m. eastern, it's nonfiction authors and books here on c-span2. some of the programs include "after wordses" were with economist stephen moor on the economic policies the trump administration michael looks at
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