In an article on the NY Times’ The Caucus blog, a commenter relays this story:

Justice John Marshall warned every new member to avoid contact with two people,a leper and the President of the United States.The more dangerous being the President that appointed you .

I’ve never heard that quip and I’ve certainly never heard one like it attributed to Marshall. I would assume that he was fond of the President who appointed him, John Adams, as he served as his Secretary of State for a period of time. Perhaps he gave this advice only to later Jefferson and Jackson nominees?

Has anyone else heard this story? Does anyone know more about the context in which Marshall used it?


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