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Democratic-Republican Party

Critical decisions by the Chief Justice saved the Supreme Court’s independence—and made possible its wide-ranging role today

Most jurists and constitutional scholars today would probably contend that the most controlling precedent to be set in the early republic was laid down in the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision. While a formidable ruling, it was not, however, the decisive moment—at least not to people at the time.

The two-party system, undreamt of by the founders of the Republic, has been one of its basic shaping forces ever since their time

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