100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Henry Wheaton and Richard Peters

Henry Wheaton and Richard Peters

“Owning” the Law

“A Curious Case in the History of Judicature”

Wheaton v. Peters

33 U.S. (8 Pet.) 591 (1834)

The history of the United States, as refracted through the lens of the history of the Supreme Court, is full of names most people would find familiar, but many more that are unfamiliar. For example, in the origin of the indispensable doctrine of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison, one of the principal players—James Madison, the fourth U.S. president—retains a well-founded fame, while the other—James Marbury, who wanted to be District of Columbia justice of the peace—does not. In the resolution of the vital question of who “owned” the law in the early days of the United States, both protagonists—Henry Wheaton ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles