Seriatim: The Supreme Court Before John Marshall

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.54
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 49%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $13.54   
  • New (3) from $28.30   
  • Used (3) from $13.54   


Seldom has American law seen a more towering figure than "the great Chief Justice," John Marshall. Yet even while acknowledging the indelible stamp Marshall put on the Supreme Court, it is possible - in fact necessary - to examine the pre-Marshall Court, and its justices, to gain a true understanding of the origins of American constitutionalism. The ten essays in this tightly edited volume were especially commissioned for the book, each by the leading authority on their particular subject. The result is a window onto the origins of the most powerful court in the world, and onto American constitutionalism itself.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Profiles ten Chief Justices of the US Supreme Court who served during the last years of the 18th century, before the time of John Marshall, whose towering figure has tended to overshadow all who came before him. The goal is to reconstruct the baby steps of American constitutionalism and to correct the impression that the court was born full grown. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
"This useful collection of biographical essays, bracketed by splendid treatments of John Jay and Oliver Elsworth, goes a long way toward establishing that the first justices of the Supreme Court were an impressive collection of political and constitutional thinkers who did much, before and during their service on the Court, to construct the constitutional order."

-Mark Tushnet,Georgetown University Law Center

"This absorbing collection of essays . . . goes far toward filling a void in the literature on the early justices of the world's most significant tribunal.”

-Law and Politics Book Review

"This creative and imaginative analysis of America's first national jurists is recommended for all students of Supreme Court history."


"Professor Gerber's Seriatim is a genuinely welcome work, an imaginative one, and a distinctly needed one. The pre-Marshall period had all-too-long been neglected and when addressed at all, it was usually done in cursory, brief compass. Gerber has done a splendid job in securing experts to analyze the labors and persona of the ten pre-Marshall jurists on our highest bench, and his introduction to the essays is a model of synthesis and clarity."

-Henry J. Abraham,James Hart Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, Emeritus, University of Virginia

"A wonderful book that challenges the idea that the Court did nothing of importance prior to Marshall's appointment; . .&nbsp. it seems destined to become a staple source for the Court's first decade.”

-Supreme Court Historical Society Quarterly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814731437
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Douglas Gerber, Ph.D., J.D., is author of To Secure These Rights: The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Interpretation and editor of Seriatim: The Supreme Court before John Marshall, both available from New York University Press. He teaches at Ohio Northern University College of Law.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Supreme Court before John Marshall 1
2 "Honour, Justice, and Interest": John Jay's Republican Politics and Statesmanship on the Federal Bench 26
3 John Rutledge: Distinction and Declension 70
4 Deconstructing William Cushing 97
5 James Wilson: Democratic Theorist and Supreme Court Justice 126
6 John Blair: "A Safe and Conscientious Judge" 155
7 James Iredell: Revolutionist, Constitutionalist, Jurist 198
8 William Paterson: Small States' Nationalist 231
9 The Verdict on Samuel Chase and His "Apologist" 260
10 Oliver Ellsworth: "I have sought the felicity and glory of your Administration" 292
11 Heir Apparent: Bushrod Washington and Federal Justice in the Early Republic 322
Editor's Note 351
Contributors 353
Index 355
About the Editor 362
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)