“The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.” Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Chapter 1
- How did the courts before the American Revolution differ from the Judicial branch that developed in the United States?
- What functions that we normally consider Judicial were handled by Executive officials?
- What functions that we normally consider Executive were handled by Judicial officials?
- How were Executive and Judicial functions related and interdependent in the early era of the Republic?
- Why were courts viewed as “un-Republican” by Jeffersonians?
- What were the reasons for having an independent Judiciary?
- In what ways was the debate over the Judicial branch related to the creation of a Bill of Rights?
- How did Federalists view the Judiciary differently from Anti-Federalists?
- How did unanswered questions and ambiguous language in the Constitution contributed to the debate over the form and functionof the Judicial Branch?
- In what ways does Charles Dickens reflect American fears about courts in Bleak House chapter 1?
- What are the provisions of each of the three sections in Article 3 of the United States Constitution?
- What are the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendments to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights?
- What are the provisions of the Judiciary Act and what structure did it give to the federal courts?
- How is the Bill of Rights designed to primarily but not exclusivelyimpact the powers of the Legislative Branch (1st and 2nd), the Executive Branch (2nd, 3rd and 4th), the Judicial Branch (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th) and the states (9th and 10th)?
- What is “concurrent cognizance”?
- How did political experience effect the appointment of judges? In early American justice, how could political skill be beneficial to society? (Think about the expressions “might makes right” and “possession is 9/10ths of the law” in the context of rural America).
- How did the Colonial American experience effect the development of the American Judiciary?
- Who was John Jay and what precedent did he set for American Judicial leader taking part in international law (Wood mentions one, the Nuremberg trials are another).
- How were issues of British-American debts a foreign policy issue that the courts were involved with?
- What is the 11th amendment to the Constitution and how is it related to the case of Chiholm v. Georgia in 1793?
- What were the issues surrounding the concept of an “American Common Law”?
- What actions did Federalists take regarding the Judiciary at the end of the Adams administration?
- Describe the issues and events surround the impeachment of Federalist judges?
- How was federal power to enforce slavery in the United States through Judicial power foreshadowed in the Federalist Jeffersonian divide (Fugitive Slave Law, Dred Scott, et al)?
- Describe the motives and concerns of the Federalists in this period
- Describe the motives and concerns of the Jeffersonians in this period.
- Chisholm v. Georgia (1793)
- Judiciary Act of 1801
- Samuel Chase Impeached
- Senate Prepares for Impeachment Trial (1804)
American Literature Focus Reading