31 Rutgers L.J. 345 (1999-2000)
Majority, Concurrence, and Dissent: Prigg v. Pennsylvania and the Structure of Supreme Court Decisionmaking

handle is hein.journals/rutlj31 and id is 367 raw text is: MAJORITY, CONCURRENCE, AND DISSENT:
PRIGG v. PENNSYLVANIA AND THE STRUCTURE
OF SUPREME COURT DECISIONMAKING
Earl M, Maltz*
I.    INTRO   DUCTIO   N  .................................................................................... 345
II.   THE BACKGROUND OF PRIGG v. PENNSYLVANIA .................................. 347
III. THE RESPONSE OF THE JUSTICES ......................................................... 352
A .  The  Story  G roup   ........................................................................... 352
I.  Joseph  Story  ............................................................................. 352
2.  John  M  cK inley  ........................................................................ 359
3.  John  C atron  .............................................................................. 362
4. James Moore Wayne ............................................................... 364
B.   Commitment to Distinctively Legal Principles ............................. 369
1.  Sm ith  Thom  pson  ...................................................................... 369
2.  H enry  B aldw  in  ......................................................................... 373
C .  A nti-slavery  ................................................................................... 381
1.  John  M cLean   ........................................................................... 381
D .  P ro-slavery   ................................................................................... 386
1.  Peter  V . D aniel  ........................................................................ 386
2.  Roger   Brooke   Taney   ................................................................ 392
IV .  C O NCLUSIO   N  ....................................................................................... 397
I. INTRODUCTION
Scholarly discussions of landmark decisions of the Supreme Court often
focus primarily on majority opinions. In some respects, this focus is entirely
understandable; after all, it is the majority opinion that establishes the rule of
a case and thus typically has the greatest practical impact on both the
evolution of legal doctrine and the development of the social, economic, and
political system generally. At the same time, however, an undue emphasis
on majority opinions can also lead to an overly simplistic view of the forces
that influence the decisionmaking process of the Supreme Court. That
process inevitably involves the interaction between nine quite different
individuals, each of whom brings to bear a different combination of
*    Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers-Camden.
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