1. Held women in inordinately high esteem that devolved into a patronizing attitude considering women untouchable from their pedestal.2. He suffered from PTSD from Revolutionary War battle experience and turned to alcohol to calm the psychic effects. How did this drinking (every night for thirty years!) effect his judicial decisions that are now the foundations of our way of life? 3. In marrying his wife Polly when she was only thirteen years old he prevented her from experiencing her adolescence. She went from childhood directly to motherhood causing her a lifetime of mental disorders. 4. His sons failed to thrive intellectually or economically, perhaps due to emotional damage caused by: a. a remote, neurotic mother b. absent, patronizing, alcoholic father.
This is altogether too mean! John Marshall was a humble, self-effacing man, a great thinker and an all-around very nice, very hardworking person, loved and respected by all who knew him. He was a high-functioning drunk with charisma. He was an American patriot, a founding father for God’s sake! He was just another privileged, ultra-ambitious mid-level Virginia aristocrat - an entitled white guy with a silver tongue, a lust for property and street cred as a battle-hardened veteran. It is unfair to judge a man from a place so far removed from his milieu. Perhaps, but this man’s decisions negatively effect every person on Earth now. Thanks to John Marshall, corporations are not accountable for their negative effects on a particular community - they have constitutional immunity due to Marshall’s interpretation of the contracts clause in the U.S. Constitution. If it is unfair to judge a man in retrospect then it is unfair for his decisions to control so many important aspects of our lives today - fair play. Judgment works both ways. If I can’t judge him then he can’t judge me. Let’s re-examine both ends of the matter.
We now hold our laws,sacrosanct as they dominate / stifle our culture, from yesterday’s precedent to the bedrock decisions and Constitution itself. There must be a procedure initiated to review all juridical precedent at all levels. Every other walk of life has submitted to the re-vitalizing scarification of its conceptual landscape during the twentieth century. The law shall not escape. The time has come to empower a legal Picasso or Einstein thus launching an army of legal sleuths, theorists, students, and practitioners to bring the law into the twenty-first century. As it is currently practiced, the law, through our state and federal legislatures and current proceedings is like growing more and more branches and leaves on an old oak tree. This object has reached its capacity and will soon topple. All things on earth: bricks, mortar, trees and storms have a life cycle. If the dawdling turtle of our cultural menagerie, architecture, can swallow the pill of Postmodernism then so can the law.