Saturday, December 3, 2016

Opening paragraphs

     Legend has it that John Adams spent his last night in the presidential mansion eventually known as the White House furiously signing appointment letters for Federalist friends and cronies, thereby defying the will of the electorate and the wishes of Thomas Jefferson, his former friend and successor to the presidency.  By appointing these "midnight judges" Adams sustained the legacy of Federalism well beyond the time of its time, at least as the story goes, bedevilling Jefferson and subsequent Republican presidents with the judicial opinions of John Marshall and a Federalist dominated court.

-Joseph J. Ellis,  from the Prologue to Passionate Sage:  The Character and Legacy of John Adams

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