Early on, the United States’ experiment using three branches of government to check and balance one another could have taken a ruinous turn.
Before leaving the White House in defeat in 1801, John Adams sought to ensure that Federalist philosophy would dominate the judicial branch by appointing a bunch of new judges.
His political enemy and the new president, Thomas Jefferson, attempted to thwart the last of these appointments, one made to William Marbury.
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