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On 17, Feb 2012 | No Comments | In | By admin

An Independent Judiciary

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An Independent Judiciary examines the impact Chief Justice John Marshall had on defining the role of the judiciary in the republic’s crucial early years, as well as two episodes in the struggle to ensure that judicial independence be accepted, by the other branches of the government and the people themselves, as a fundamental principal of American life.
The first episode is the Cherokee Nation’s attempt in the 1830s to retain its territory in Georgia. The tribe chose not to fight on the battlefield but in the courts, which gave it a fair hearing. But the Supreme Court’s final ruling in favor of the Indian tribe was defied by President Jackson and Georgia state officials, resulting in a national tragedy and one of the darkest chapters of American history, the Trail of Tears.

By the time of our second episode, in 1958, the Constitution and the nation had been changed by Civil War and a century’s experience. This time, the Executive fulfilled his charge to carry out the law by integrating the public schools of Little Rock, Arkansas despite public protests and the open defiance of Governor Orval Faubus. Captured on film, President Dwight Eisenhower turns a terrible moment in the nation’s fight for equal rights into a Constitutional triumph, and the Supreme Court affirms that justice depends on judicial independence.

 


  • ABA Coalition for Justice Award
    Bronze Telly Award
    CINE Golden Eagle

  • Learn more about Chief Justice John Marshall
    http://www.supremecourthistory.org/history/supremecourthistory_history_history_marshall.htm

    Learn about the Cherokee Nation’s long history
    http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/History/Default.aspx

    Read about the Cherokee Nation’s first principle chief, John Ross
    http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/146/Page/default.aspx

    See who the Little Rock Nine students were
    http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=723

    Read about Governor Orval Faubus from our interviewee, Roy Reed
    http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=102


  • “An Independent Judiciary” examines both the impact Chief Justice John Marshall had on defining the role of the judiciary in the republic’s crucial early years, as well as two episodes in the struggle to ensure that judicial independence be accepted by the other branches of the government and the people themselves as a fundamental principal of American life.

    We speak with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer as well as some of the foremost Constitutional scholars and John Marshall experts to understand the role the Chief Justice played in shaping the Supreme Court, the judiciary and the nation. Professor James Simon, the author of the Marshall biography What Kind of Nation and Dean Emeritus at New York Law School, provides insight and context to help understand Chief Justice Marshall’s impact on the early republic. Meanwhile, Professors Laurence Tribe and Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School and John Yoo of the Boalt School of Law at University of California, Berkeley guide us through Marshall’s most important case, Marbury v. Madison, and the principle of judicial review it helped establish.

    We also review two historical episodes, over 120 years apart, that have helped prove just how important judicial independence is to a free and democratic country.

    The first episode is the Cherokee Nation’s attempt in the 1830s to retain its territory in Georgia. The tribe chose not to fight on the battlefield but in the courts, which gave it a fair hearing. But the Supreme Court’s final ruling in favor of the Indian tribe, written by Chief Justice John Marshall as he was nearing the end of his illustrious time on the Court, was defied by President Jackson and Georgia state officials. The result was not only a weakening of the judiciary’s standing in the federal government and in the eyes of the people, but also a national tragedy and one of the darkest chapters of American history, the Trail of Tears. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer discusses the impact this case had on the Court, and Cherokee storyteller Gayle Ross, a descendent of the Cherokee Nation’s Principal Chief during these tumultuous times, explains how the nation’s defiance ultimately led to the death of thousands of Cherokee Indians.

    By the time of our second episode, in 1957, the Constitution and the nation had been changed by Civil War and a century’s experience. This time, the Executive fulfilled his charge to carry out the law by integrating the public schools of Little Rock, Arkansas despite public protests and the open defiance of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. Captured on film, President Dwight Eisenhower turns a terrible moment in the nation’s fight for equal rights into a Constitutional triumph, and the Supreme Court affirms that justice depends on judicial independence. At the center of the fight to integrate Little Rock Central High School was the Little Rock 9, a group of teenagers who bravely faced outright public hostility to their desire to attend one of the most prestigious high schools in Arkansas. Roy Reed, Arkansas historian and journalist and author of the biography Faubus, helps us understand what motivated Governor Faubus and the people of Arkansas to attempt to openly defy the Supreme Court. And Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock 9 and the first African-American to graduate from Central High, talks about how the actions of the President and the Supreme Court affirming the judiciary’s independence personally changed his life.

    An Independent Judiciary is part of a series of films produced for Annenberg Classroom, a project of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands in partnership with the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. AnnenbergClassroom.org is an online gateway to award-winning resources for students and teachers.



  • Producer, Writer and Narrator, Robe Imbriano

    Associater Producer, María E. Matasar-Padilla

    Editor, Marc Tidalgo

    Graphics Animators, Jimmy Higgins and Stevie Clifton

    Camera, Edward Marritz and Daryl Pendana

    Production Associates, Caitlin Costin and Thomas Beckner

    Coordinating Producer, Gabrielle Tenenbaum

    Sound, Mark Mandler

    Music, Ben Decter and Gavin Allen

    Senior Producer, Kayce Freed Jennings

    Executive Producer, Tom Yellin