No rule of court or statute requires the justices to agree to an opinion of the court in fact before chief justice john marshall came to the bench in 1801 each justice would typically write his own separate opinion the default rule was a series of opinions called seriatim opinions a series of opinions this meant that there were many . Students of judicial institutions in recent years have come to appreciate more than ever that to understand any court we must understand its origins1 nowhere is this more correct than in the case of the supreme court because the origins of that institution are so closely identified with one justice john marshall. Scott douglas gerber phd jd 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 presshe teaches at ohio northern university college of law. a introduction the supreme court before john marshall scott douglas gerber honour justice and interest john jays republican politics and statesmanship on the federal bench sandra frances vanburkleo john rutledge distinction and declension james haw deconstructing william cushing scott douglas gerber james wilson . The result of everyones hard work was seriatim the supreme court before john marshall which was published in hardcover by nyu press in 1998 and in paperback in 20004 what follows is an overview of seriatim as well as an update on the reaction to the book and on the schol arship about the pre marshall court that followed seriatims
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