Sunday, April 3, 2022

Gerard N. Magliocca's "Washington's Heir"

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree at Stanford, his law degree at Yale, and spent one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Magliocca's other books on constitutional law include The Heart of the Constitution (2018).

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Washington's Heir: The Life of Justice Bushrod Washington, and reported the following:
Page 99 of Washington’s Heir: The Life of Bushrod Washington mostly talks about the Supreme Court’s inability to muster a quorum in 1811. Two of the seven justices were unable to travel to Washington DC for unknown reasons, one had died, and another was ill and would soon die. Consequently, for the one and only time in its history the Court was forced to cancel all its arguments. The page then discusses President Madison’s political difficulty in filling one of the new vacancies, as two of his choices refused to accept the nomination and another was rejected by the Senate.

This background fits into the book’s larger narrative in that Madison eventually settled on Joseph Story as his pick, and Justice Story became a pivotal figure on the Marshall Court and a protégé of Justice Washington. The relationship between Washington and Story is one of the central ones in this biography, along with Justice Washington’s partnership with John Marshall and mentorship by George Washington, Bushrod’s uncle.
Follow Gerard N. Magliocca on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: The Tragedy of William Jennings Bryan: Constitutional Law and the Politics of Backlash.

The Page 99 Test: American Founding Son.

--Marshal Zeringue