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14 November 2019


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". . . apparently Jefferson never did produce [the documents subpoenaed by Chief Justice Marshall]"
An age old tussle.

What President today could get away with ignoring a subpoena? The possibility that Jefferson did neglect the subpoena probably indicates a broad, political support for Jefferson's position. John Marshall as Chief Justice was, after all, a lame duck appointment by the defeated John Adams and an outgoing Federalist Congress, just before Jefferson and the Republicans took office.

If the subpoena proved unenforceable, then one might argue that the precedent it creates is weak at best.

At least, in the case of both the Jefferson and Nixon subpoenas, the case at hand was directly a matter of state: questions of treason and malfeasance within the Executive Branch.

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