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Nathaniel Macon - Jeffersonian Correspondent

Nathaniel Macon - Jeffersonian Correspondent Philosophy American History American Presidents Government Law and Politics Social Studies

Thomas Jefferson did not hesitate to publicly express his displeasure with the concept of "judicial review" which John Marshall established in Marbury v Madison.

In 1821 - four years before Jefferson died - he wrote a letter to Congressman Nathaniel Macon which contained these words:

[How] to check these unconstitutional invasions of ... rights by the Federal judiciary?  

Not by impeachment in the first instance, but by a strong protestation of both houses of Congress that such and such doctrines advanced by the Supreme Court are contrary to the Constitution; and if afterwards they relapse into the same heresies, impeach and set the whole adrift.  For what was the government divided into three branches, but that each should watch over the others and oppose their usurpations? 


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Bioguide.Congress.gov

 

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