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Trial of Samuel Chase

Trial of Samuel Chase

Broadcast: May 8, 1949
Added: Feb 10 2020

Supreme Court justice Samuel Chase, an ardent Federalist supporter, was known for his open partisanship both on and off the bench. He campaigned vigorously for John Adams in the election of 1800, and in 1803, gave a grand jury charge in the U.S. circuit court in Maryland that was sharply critical of the Republicans for repealing the 1801 judiciary statute and abolishing the circuit judgeships that act had established. The grand jury charge proved highly controversial and led many to call for Chase’s removal from the bench. In March 1804, after debating what constituted proper grounds for impeachment, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Chase.