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Cleveland State University

Judicial review

2002

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Lincoln, Marshall And The Judicial Role, David F. Forte Jan 2002

Lincoln, Marshall And The Judicial Role, David F. Forte

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

Abraham Lincoln understood judicial activism. For Lincoln, the paradigm of the unrestrained Supreme Court was the decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Lincoln saw the "illegitimacy" of Dred Scott not in that the Supreme Court had overturned an act of Congress. It was, rather, that the Supreme Court, in the guise of making a legal decision, instead made a political decision. Even worse, it was a political decision that sought to redefine the polity in fundamental, constitutional terms. Lincoln's position echoed the most eloquent articulation of judicial review ever made by the Court: in Marbury vs. Madison, Chief Justice ...