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Unlikely Abolitionist: William Cushing and the Struggle Against Slavery

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One of the striking differences between the federal Union established under the Constitution and the Confederation of States established under the Articles of Confederation is the creation under Article III of a judicial power of the United States and of a Supreme Court to exercise that power. Acting pursuant to its power to determine the structure of that Court, Congress determined that the Court should consist of one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. The six lawyers President Washington named to the Court 1 were leading members of the bar, yet none achieved lasting distinction by reason of his service on the Court. Chief Justice Jay, for example, is best remembered for the treaty with England which bears his name; and when he resigned in 1795 following his election as Governor of New York, local papers referred to his new office as “a promotion.” 2

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2004

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