Vanderbilt Law Review


Austin Allen

First Page



This Article argues that Justice Catron's acceptance of the general premises of the Court's Jacksonian jurisprudence accounts for his obscurity. Part One demonstrates that Catron articulated a similar framework while serving on the Tennessee Supreme Court. Part Two illustrates his continued support for that framework after he moved to the U.S. Supreme Court. Part Three, however, demonstrates that, although he embraced much of the Taney Court's jurisprudence, Catron did not move in lockstep with his colleagues. Indeed, the elements he emphasized within that framework-namely, support for state sovereignty and equality as well as an aversion to judicial policymaking-led him to break briefly with his colleagues' thinking in the mid-1850s. Even then, Catron failed to stand out as a prominent Justice.