What’s the Most Important Supreme Court Case No One’s Ever Heard Of? (The Atlantic)


In an Atlantic piece that asks 13 legal experts about lesser-known Supreme Court cases that nonetheless had a major impact, New York Times editorial board member Lincoln Caplan makes the case for Dartmouth College v. Woodward.

Commenting on the 1819 case, in which Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, famously said, “It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it,” Caplan writes:

“(The) Supreme Court ruled that Dartmouth’s establishment as a corporation was a contract with New Hampshire, so the state could not meddle with that charter and turn the private college into a public university.”

Caplan continues, “Chief Justice John Marshall anticipated a major controversy of our day—and indicated why the Roberts Court’s treatment of corporations as equal to citizens is such a stretch.”

Read the full story published 04/24/2013 in The Atlantic.

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