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John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth
chief justice of the United States The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge A chief judge (also known as chief justice The chief justice is the Chief judge, presiding member of a supreme court in any of many countries with a justice system based on English comm ...
from 1801 until his death in 1835. Marshall remains the longest-serving chief justice and fourth-longest serving justice in
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
history, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential justices to ever sit on the Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Supreme Court (and for one month simultaneous to his tenure as Chief Justice), Marshall served as the fourth
United States Secretary of State The United States secretary of state is an officer of the United States who implements foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and intern ...
under President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
. Marshall was born in
GermantownGermantown or German Town may refer to: Places Australia * Germantown, Queensland, a locality in the Cassowary Coast Region United States * Germantown, California, the former name of Artois, a census-designated place in Glenn County * Germ ...
in the
Colony of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses (1619–1776) , today = , demonym = , area_km2=, area_rank=, GDP_PPP=, GDP_PPP_year=, HDI=, HDI_year= The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was ...
in 1755. After the outbreak of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colon ...
, he joined the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
, serving in numerous battles. During the later stages of the war, he was admitted to the state bar and won election to the
Virginia House of Delegates The Virginia House of Delegates is one of the two parts of the Virginia General Assembly, the other being the Senate of Virginia. It has 100 members elected for terms of two years; unlike most states, these elections take place during odd-numbe ...
. Marshall favored the ratification of the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first ...

United States Constitution
, and he played a major role in Virginia's ratification of that document. At the request of President Adams, Marshall traveled to
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
in 1797 to help bring an end to attacks on American shipping. In what became known as the
XYZ Affair The XYZ Affair was a political and diplomatic episode in 1797 and 1798, early in the presidency of John Adams The presidency of John Adams, began on March 4, 1797, when John Adams was United States presidential inauguration, inaugurated as t ...
, the government of France refused to open negotiations unless the United States agreed to pay bribes. After returning to the United States, Marshall won election to the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the of the , with the being the . Together they compose the national of the . The House's composition is established by . The House is composed of representatives who sit in allocated to ea ...
and emerged as a leader of the
Federalist Party The Federalist Party was the first political party in the United States American electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Histo ...
in Congress. He was appointed secretary of state in 1800 after a cabinet shake-up, becoming an important figure in the Adams administration. In 1801, Adams appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court. Marshall quickly emerged as the key figure on the court, due in large part to his personal influence with the other justices. Under his leadership, the court moved away from
seriatim In law, ''seriatim'' (Latin for "in series") indicates that a court is addressing multiple issues in a certain order, such as the order in which the issues were originally presented to the court. Legal usage A seriatim opinion describes an opini ...
opinions, instead issuing a single majority opinion that elucidated a clear rule. The 1803 case of '' Marbury v. Madison'' presented the first major case heard by the
Marshall Court The Marshall Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the Supreme court, highest court in the Federal judiciary of the United States, federal judiciary of the United State ...
. In his opinion for the court, Marshall upheld the principle of
judicial review Judicial review is a process under which executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, ...
, whereby courts could strike down federal and state laws if they conflicted with the Constitution. Marshall's holding avoided direct conflict with the executive branch, which was led by
Democratic-Republican The Democratic-Republican Party, better known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, l ...
President
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and who served as the third from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second under and as the first under ...

Thomas Jefferson
. By establishing the principle of judicial review while avoiding an inter-branch confrontation, Marshall helped implement the principle of
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' ( ...
and cement the position of the American judiciary as an independent and co-equal branch of government. After 1803, many of the major decisions issued by the Marshall Court confirmed the supremacy of the federal government and the federal Constitution over the states. In '' Fletcher v. Peck'' and '' Dartmouth College v. Woodward'', the court invalidated state actions because they violated the
Contract Clause Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the ...
. The court's decision in '' McCulloch v. Maryland'' upheld the constitutionality of the
Second Bank of the United States The Second Bank of the United States was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian National bank#United States, national bank in the United States. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was chartered from February 1816 to January 1836.. T ...
and established the principle that the states could not tax federal institutions. The cases of '' Martin v. Hunter's Lessee'' and '' Cohens v. Virginia'' established that the Supreme Court could hear appeals from state courts in both civil and criminal matters. Marshall's opinion in '' Gibbons v. Ogden'' established that the
Commerce Clause The Commerce Clause describes an listed in the (). The clause states that the shall have power " regulate with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." Courts and commentators have tended to discuss each of ...
bars states from restricting navigation. In the case of '' Worcester v. Georgia'', Marshall held that the Georgia criminal statute that prohibited non-
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
from being present on Native American lands without a license from the state was unconstitutional. Marshall died in 1835, and Jackson appointed
Roger Taney Roger Brooke Taney (; March 17, 1777 – October 12, 1864) was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He delivered the majority opinion in ''Dred Scott v. Sandford'' (1856), ruling that ...

Roger Taney
as his successor.


Early years (1755 to 1782)

John Marshall was born on September 24, 1755, in a
log cabin A log cabin is a small log house A log house, or log building, is a structure built with horizontal logs interlocked at the corners by notching. Logs may be round, squared or hewn to other shapes, either handcrafted or milled. The term ...
in
GermantownGermantown or German Town may refer to: Places Australia * Germantown, Queensland, a locality in the Cassowary Coast Region United States * Germantown, California, the former name of Artois, a census-designated place in Glenn County * Germ ...
, a rural community on the
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
frontier, near present-day Midland, Fauquier County. In the mid-1760s, the Marshalls moved northwest to the present-day site of Markham, Virginia.Paul (2018), pp. 11–12 His parents were Thomas Marshall and Mary Randolph Keith, the granddaughter of politician
Thomas Randolph of TuckahoeThomas Randolph (~1683 – 1729), also known as Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe, was the first settler at Tuckahoe (plantation), Tuckahoe, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and the second child of William Randolph and Mary Isham. Biograph ...
and a second cousin of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. Despite her ancestry, Mary was shunned by the Randolph family because her mother, Mary Isham Randolph, had eloped with a man believed beneath her station in life. After his death, Mary Isham Randolph married James Keith, a Scottish minister. Thomas Marshall was employed in Fauquier County as a surveyor and land agent by Lord Fairfax, which provided him with a substantial income. Nonetheless, John Marshall grew up in a two-room log cabin, which he shared with his parents and several siblings; Marshall was the oldest of fifteen siblings. One of his younger brothers, James Markham Marshall, would briefly serve as a federal judge. Marshall was also a first cousin of U.S. Senator (Ky) Humphrey Marshall and first cousin, three times removed, of General of the Army
George C. Marshall George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of the United State ...
. From a young age, Marshall was noted for his good humor and black eyes, which were "strong and penetrating, beaming with intelligence and good nature". With the exception of one year of formal schooling, during which time he befriended future president
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
, Marshall did not receive a formal education. Encouraged by his parents, the young Marshall read widely, reading works such as
William Blackstone Sir William Blackstone (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessaril ...

William Blackstone
's ''
Commentaries on the Laws of England The ''Commentaries on the Laws of England'' are an influential 18th-century treatise on the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions writ ...
'' and
Alexander Pope Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) is seen as one of the greatest English poets and the foremost poet of the early 18th century. He is best known for satirical and discursive poetry, including ''The Rape of the Lock ''The Rape of ...

Alexander Pope
's ''
An Essay on Man ''An Essay on Man'' is a poem published by Alexander Pope Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) is seen as one of the greatest English poets and the foremost poet of the early 18th century. He is best known for satirical and discursive ...
''. He was also tutored by the Reverend James Thomson, a recently ordained deacon from
Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Socia ...
, who resided with the Marshall family in return for his room and board. Marshall was especially influenced by his father, of whom he wrote, "to his care I am indebted for anything valuable which I may have acquired in my youth. He was my only intelligent companion; and was both a watchful parent and an affectionate friend." Thomas Marshall prospered in his work as a surveyor, and in the 1770s he purchased an estate known as Oak Hill. After the 1775
Battles of Lexington and Concord The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was init ...
, Thomas and John Marshall volunteered for service in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. In 1776, Marshall became a lieutenant in the Eleventh Virginia Regiment of the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
. During the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colon ...
, he served in several battles, including the
Battle of Brandywine The Battle of Brandywine, also known as the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American Continental Army of General George Washington and the British Army of General William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, Sir William Howe on September&n ...
, and endured the winter at
Valley Forge Valley Forge functioned as the third of eight winter encampments for the 's main body, commanded by , during the . In September 1777, Congress fled to escape the British capture of the city. After failing to retake Philadelphia, Washington l ...

Valley Forge
. After he was furloughed in 1780, Marshall began attending the
College of William and Mary The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public university, public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued ...

College of William and Mary
. Marshall
read law Reading law is the method by which persons in common law countries, particularly the United States, entered the Practice of law, legal profession before the advent of law schools. This usage specifically refers to a means of entering the profession ...
under the famous Chancellor
George Wythe George Wythe (; December 3, 1726 – June 8, 1806) was the first American law professor, a noted classics scholar, a Founding Father of the United States Founding may refer to: * The formation or of a corporation, government, or other organizat ...
at the
College of William and Mary The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public university, public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued ...

College of William and Mary
, and he was admitted to the state bar in 1780. After briefly rejoining the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
, Marshall won election to the
Virginia House of Delegates The Virginia House of Delegates is one of the two parts of the Virginia General Assembly, the other being the Senate of Virginia. It has 100 members elected for terms of two years; unlike most states, these elections take place during odd-numbe ...
in early 1782.


Early political career (1782 to 1797)

Upon joining the House of Delegates, Marshall aligned himself with members of the conservative
Tidewater Tidewater may refer to: * Tidewater region, a geographic area of southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina ** Tidewater accent, an accent of American English associated with the Tidewater region of Virginia * Tidewater glacier, a classificati ...
establishment such as James Monroe and
Richard Henry Lee Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732June 19, 1794) was an American statesman and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founder ...

Richard Henry Lee
. With the backing of his influential father-in-law, Marshall was elected to the
Council of State A Council of State is a governmental body in a country, or a subdivision of a country, with a function that varies by jurisdiction. It may be the formal name for the cabinet or it may refer to a non-executive advisory body associated with a head o ...
, becoming the youngest individual up to that point to serve on the council. In 1785, Marshall took up the additional office of Recorder of the Richmond City
Hustings A hustings originally referred to a native Germanic governing assembly, the thing. By metonymy, the term may now refer to any event, such as debates or speeches, during an election campaign where one or more of the representative candidates are p ...
Court. Meanwhile, Marshall sought to build up his own legal practice, a difficult proposition during a time of economic recession. In 1786, he purchased the law practice of his cousin,
Edmund Randolph Edmund Jennings Randolph (August 10, 1753 September 12, 1813) was an American attorney Attorney may refer to: Roles * Attorney at law, an official title of lawyers in some jurisdictions * Attorney general, the principal legal officer of (or advis ...
, after the latter was elected Governor of Virginia. Marshall gained a reputation as a talented attorney practicing in the state capital of
Richmond Richmond may refer to: People * Richmond (surname) * Earl of Richmond * Duke of Richmond * Richmond C. Beatty (1905–1961), American academic, biographer and critic * Richmond Avenal, character in British sitcom List of The IT Crowd characters#R ...
, and he took on a wide array of cases. He represented the heirs of Lord Fairfax in '' Hite v. Fairfax'' (1786), an important case involving a large tract of land in the
Northern Neck The Northern Neck is the northernmost of three peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrou ...
of Virginia. Under the
Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America ...
, the United States during the 1780s was a confederation of sovereign states with a weak national government that had little or no effective power to impose tariffs, regulate interstate commerce, or enforce laws. Influenced by
Shays' Rebellion Shays Rebellion was an armed uprising in Western Massachusetts and Worcester, Massachusetts, Worcester in response to a debt crisis among the citizenry and in opposition to the state government's increased efforts to collect taxes both on individu ...

Shays' Rebellion
and the powerlessness of the
Congress of the Confederation The Congress of the Confederation, or the Confederation Congress, formally referred to as the United States in Congress Assembled, was the governing body of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), ...
, Marshall came to believe in the necessity of a new governing structure that would replace the powerless national government established by the Articles of Confederation. He strongly favored ratification of the proposed by the
Philadelphia Convention The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17, 1787. Although the convention was intended to revise the league of states and first system of government under the Articles of Confederation The Articles ...
, as it provided for a much stronger federal government. Marshall was elected to the 1788
Virginia Ratifying Convention The Virginia Ratifying Convention (also historically referred to as the "Virginia Federal Convention") was a convention of 168 delegates from Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid ...
, where he worked with
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
to convince other delegates to ratify the new constitution. After a long debate, proponents of ratification emerged victorious, as the convention voted 89 to 79 to ratify the constitution. After the United States ratified the Constitution, newly elected President
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. Natio ...

George Washington
nominated Marshall as the
United States Attorney United States attorneys represent the United States federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identit ...
for Virginia. Though the nomination was confirmed by the Senate, Marshall declined the position, instead choosing to focus on his own law practice. In the early 1790s, the
Federalist Party The Federalist Party was the first political party in the United States American electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Histo ...
and the
Democratic-Republican Party The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – ...
emerged as the country was polarized by issues such as the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted French First Republic, France against Gr ...
and the power of the presidency and the federal government. Marshall aligned with the Federalists, and at
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
's request, he organized a Federalist movement in Virginia to counter the influence of
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and who served as the third from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second under and as the first under ...

Thomas Jefferson
's Democratic-Republicans. Like most other Federalists, Marshall favored neutrality in foreign affairs, high
tariffs A tariff is a tax imposed by a government of a country or of a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of International trade, forei ...
, a strong executive, and a
standing Standing, also referred to as orthostasis, is a position in which the body is held in an ''erect'' ("orthostatic") position and supported only by the feet. Although seemingly static, the body rocks slightly back and forth from the ankle The a ...
military. In 1795, Washington asked Marshall to accept appointment as the
United States Attorney General The United States attorney general (AG) leads the , and is the chief lawyer of the . The attorney general serves as the principal advisor to the on all legal matters. The attorney general is a statutory member of the . Under the of the , the o ...
, but Marshall again declined the offer. He did, however, serve in a variety of roles for the state of Virginia during the 1790s, at one point acting as the state's interim Attorney General. In 1796, Marshall appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States in '' Ware v. Hylton'', a case involving the validity of a Virginia law that provided for the confiscation of debts owed to British subjects. Marshall argued that the law was a legitimate exercise of the state's power, but the Supreme Court ruled against him, holding that the Treaty of Paris in combination with the
Supremacy Clause The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution of the United States The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the lega ...
of the Constitution required the collection, rather than confiscation, of such debts. According to biographer Henry Flanders, Marshall's argument in ''Ware v. Hylton'' "elicited great admiration at the time of its delivery, and enlarged the circle of his reputation" despite his defeat in the case.


Adams administration (1797 to 1801)


Diplomat

Vice President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
, a member of the Federalist Party, defeated Jefferson in the 1796 presidential election and sought to continue Washington's policy of neutrality in the French Revolutionary Wars. After Adams took office,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
refused to meet with American envoys and began attacking American ships. In 1797, Marshall accepted appointment to a three-member commission to France that also included
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (February 25, 1746 – August 16, 1825) was an early American politician, statesman of South Carolina, American Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War veteran, and delegate to the Constitutional Convention (United States) ...

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
and
Elbridge Gerry Elbridge Gerry (; July 17, 1744 (Old Style and New Style dates, OS July 6, 1744) – November 23, 1814) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, politician, and diplomat who served as the fifth Vice President of t ...
. The three envoys arrived in France in October 1797, but were granted only a fifteen-minute meeting with French Foreign Minister Talleyrand. After that meeting, the diplomats were met by three of Talleyrand's agents who refused to conduct diplomatic negotiations unless the United States paid enormous bribes to Talleyrand and to the Republic of France. The Americans refused to negotiate on such terms, and Marshall and Pinckney eventually decided to return to the United States. Marshall left France in April 1798 and arrived in the United States two months later, receiving a warm welcome by Federalist members of Congress. During his time in France, Marshall and the other commissioners had sent secret correspondence to Adams and Secretary of State
Timothy Pickering Timothy Pickering (July 17, 1745January 29, 1829) was a politician from Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It ...

Timothy Pickering
. In April 1798, Congress passed a resolution demanding that the administration reveal the contents of the correspondence. A public outcry ensued when the Adams administration revealed that Talleyrand's agents had demanded bribes; the incident became known as the
XYZ Affair The XYZ Affair was a political and diplomatic episode in 1797 and 1798, early in the presidency of John Adams The presidency of John Adams, began on March 4, 1797, when John Adams was United States presidential inauguration, inaugurated as t ...
. In July 1798, shortly after Marshall's return, Congress imposed an embargo in France, marking the start of an undeclared naval war known as the
Quasi-War The Quasi-War (french: Quasi-guerre) was an undeclared naval war fought from 1798 to 1800 between the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country ...
. Marshall supported most of the measures Congress adopted in the struggle against France, but he disapproved of the
Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien and Sedition Acts were four laws passed by the Federalist The term ''federalist'' describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves ''Feder ...
, four separate laws designed to suppress dissent during the Quasi-War. Marshall published a letter to a local newspaper stating his belief that the laws would likely "create, unnecessarily, discontents and jealousies at a time when our very existence as a nation may depend on our union."


Congressman and Secretary of State

After his return from France, Marshall wanted to resume his private practice of law, but in September 1798 former President Washington convinced him to challenge incumbent Democratic-Republican Congressman John Clopton of Virginia's 13th congressional district. Although the Richmond area district favored the Democratic-Republican Party, Marshall won the race, in part due to his conduct during the XYZ Affair and in part due to the support of
Patrick Henry Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736June 6, 1799) was an American attorney, Planter class, planter, politician, and orator best known for his declaration to the Virginia Conventions, Second Virginia Convention (1775): "Give me liberty, or give me death ...

Patrick Henry
. During the campaign, Marshall declined appointment as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and President Adams instead appointed Marshall's friend,
Bushrod Washington Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 – November 26, 1829) was an attorney and politician who served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States An associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is any member ...
. After winning the election, Marshall was sworn into office when the 6th Congress convened in December 1799. He quickly emerged as a leader of the moderate faction of Federalists in Congress. His most notable speech in Congress was related to the case of Thomas Nash (alias Jonathan Robbins), whom the government had extradited to Great Britain on charges of murder. Marshall defended the government's actions, arguing that nothing in the Constitution prevents the United States from extraditing one of its citizens.Smith (1998), pp. 258–259 His speech helped defeat a motion to censure President Adams for the extradition. In May 1800, President Adams nominated Marshall as
Secretary of War The secretary of war was a member of the U.S. president The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foak ...
, but the president quickly withdrew that nomination and instead nominated Marshall as Secretary of State. Marshall was confirmed by the Senate on May 13 and took office on June 6, 1800. Marshall's appointment as Secretary of State was preceded by a split between Adams and Hamilton, the latter of whom led a faction of Federalists who favored declaring war on France. Adams fired Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, a Hamilton supporter, after Pickering tried to undermine peace negotiations with France. Adams directed Marshall to bring an end to the Quasi-War and settle ongoing disputes with Britain,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, and the
Barbary States The terms Barbary Coast, Barbary, Berbery or Berber Coast were used in English-language sources (similarly to equivalent terms in other languages) from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer to the coastal regions of North Africa or Maghreb ...
. The position of Secretary of State also held a wide array of domestic responsibilities, including the deliverance of commissions of federal appointments and supervision of the construction of
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
In October 1800, the United States and France agreed to the
Convention of 1800 The Convention of 1800, also known as the Treaty of Mortefontaine, was signed on September 30, 1800, by the United States of America and French First Republic, France. The difference in name was due to United States Congress, Congressional sensitiv ...
, which ended the Quasi-War and reestablished commercial relations with France.


Nomination as Chief Justice

With the Federalists divided between Hamilton and Adams, the Democratic-Republicans emerged victorious in the presidential election of 1800. However, Thomas Jefferson and
Aaron Burr Aaron Burr Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an American politician and lawyer. He served as the third vice president of the United States during President Thomas Jefferson's first term from 1801 to 1805. Burr's legacy is defin ...

Aaron Burr
both received 73
electoral votes An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or entities, with each organization, political party or entity represented by ...

electoral votes
, throwing the election to the Federalist-controlled House of Representatives. Hamilton asked Marshall to support Jefferson, but Marshall declined to support either candidate. In the
contingent election In the United States, a contingent election is the procedure used to elect the president or vice president if no candidate for one or both of these offices wins an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College An electoral college is a ...
held to decide whether Jefferson or Burr would become president, each state delegation had a single vote. Under this rule, it turned out that neither party had a majority because some states had split delegations. Over the course of seven days, February 11–17, 1801, the House cast a total of 35 ballots, with Jefferson receiving the votes of eight state delegations each time, one short of the necessary majority of nine. On February 17, on the 36th ballot, Jefferson was elected as president. Burr became vice president. Had the deadlock lasted a couple weeks longer (through March 4 or beyond), Marshall, as Secretary of State, would have become
acting president An acting president is a person who temporarily fills the role of a country's president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, univer ...
until a choice was made. After the election, Adams and the lame duck Congress passed what came to be known as the
Midnight Judges ActThe Midnight Judges Act (also known as the Judiciary Act of 1801; , and officially An act to provide for the more convenient organization of the Courts of the United States) represented an effort to solve an issue in the U.S. Supreme Court during the ...
. This legislation made sweeping changes to the federal judiciary, including a reduction in Supreme Court justices from six to five (upon the next vacancy in the court) so as to deny Jefferson an appointment until two vacancies occurred.Stites (1981), pp. 77–80. In late 1800, Chief Justice
Oliver Ellsworth Oliver Ellsworth (April 29, 1745 – November 26, 1807) was an American lawyer, judge, politician, and diplomat. He was a framer of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the Uni ...

Oliver Ellsworth
resigned due to poor health. Adams nominated former Chief Justice
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
to once again lead the Supreme Court, but Jay rejected the appointment, partly due to his frustration at the relative lack of power possessed by the judicial branch of the federal government. Jay's letter of rejection arrived on January 20, 1801, less than two months before Jefferson would take office. Upon learning of Jay's rejection, Marshall suggested that Adams elevate Associate Justice William Paterson to chief justice, but Adams rejected the suggestion, instead saying to Marshall, "I believe I must nominate you." The Senate at first delayed confirming Marshall, as many senators hoped that Adams would choose a different individual to serve as chief justice. According to New Jersey Senator
Jonathan Dayton Jonathan Dayton (October 16, 1760October 9, 1824) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typica ...

Jonathan Dayton
, the Senate finally relented "lest another not so qualified, and more disgusting to the bench, should be substituted, and because it appeared that this gentleman arshallwas not privy to his own nomination". Marshall was confirmed by the Senate on January 27, 1801, and took office on February 4. At the request of the president, he continued to serve as Secretary of State until Adams' term expired on March 4. Consequently, Marshall was charged with delivering judicial commissions to the individuals who had been appointed to the positions created by the Midnight Judges Act. Adams would later state that "my gift of John Marshall to the people of the United States was the proudest act of my life."


Chief Justice (1801 to 1835)

The
Marshall Court The Marshall Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the Supreme court, highest court in the Federal judiciary of the United States, federal judiciary of the United State ...
convened for the first time on February 2, 1801, in the Supreme Court Chamber of the . The Court at that time consisted of Chief Justice Marshall and Associate Justices William Cushing, William Paterson,
Samuel Chase Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 – June 19, 1811) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. He was Impeachment in the United States ...

Samuel Chase
, Bushrod Washington, and
Alfred Moore Alfred Moore (May 21, 1755 – October 15, 1810) was a North Carolina judge who became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Moore Square, a park located in ...
, each of whom had been appointed by President Washington or President Adams. Prior to 1801, the Supreme Court had been seen as a relatively insignificant institution. Most legal disputes were resolved in state, rather than federal courts. The Court had issued just 63 decisions in its first decades, few of which had made a significant impact, and it had never struck down a federal or state law. During Marshall's 34-year tenure as Chief Justice, the Supreme Court would emerge as an important force in the federal government for the first time, and Marshall himself played a major role in shaping the nation's understanding of constitutional law. The Marshall Court would issue more than 1000 decisions, about half of which were written by Marshall himself. Marshall's leadership of the Supreme Court ensured that the federal government would exercise relatively strong powers, despite the political domination of the Democratic-Republicans after 1800.


Personality, principles, and leadership

Soon after becoming chief justice, Marshall changed the manner in which the Supreme Court announced its decisions. Previously, each Justice would author a separate opinion (known as a ''
seriatim In law, ''seriatim'' (Latin for "in series") indicates that a court is addressing multiple issues in a certain order, such as the order in which the issues were originally presented to the court. Legal usage A seriatim opinion describes an opini ...
'' opinion) as was done in the
Virginia Supreme Court The Supreme Court of Virginia is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States ...
of his day and is still done today in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
. Under Marshall, however, the Supreme Court adopted the practice of handing down a single
majority opinion In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bo ...
of the Court, allowing it to present a clear rule. The Court met in Washington only two months a year, from the first Monday in February through the second or third week in March. Six months of the year the justices were doing circuit duty in the various states. When the Court was in session in Washington, the justices boarded together in the same rooming house, avoided outside socializing, and discussed each case intently among themselves. Decisions were quickly made, usually in a matter of days. The justices did not have clerks, so they listened closely to the oral arguments, and decided among themselves what the decision should be. Marshall's opinions were workmanlike and not especially eloquent or subtle. His influence on learned men of the law came from the charismatic force of his personality and his ability to seize upon the key elements of a case and make highly persuasive arguments. As
Oliver Wolcott Oliver Wolcott Sr. (November 20, 1726 December 1, 1797) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are ...

Oliver Wolcott
observed when both he and Marshall served in the Adams administration, Marshall had the knack of "putting his own ideas into the minds of others, unconsciously to them". By 1811, Justices appointed by a Democratic-Republican president had a 5-to-2 majority on the Court, but Marshall retained ideological and personal leadership of the Court. Marshall regularly curbed his own viewpoints, preferring to arrive at decisions by consensus.. Only once did he find himself on the losing side in a constitutional case. In that case—'' Ogden v. Saunders'' in 1827—Marshall set forth his general principles of constitutional interpretation:
To say that the intention of the instrument must prevail; that this intention must be collected from its words; that its words are to be understood in that sense in which they are generally used by those for whom the instrument was intended; that its provisions are neither to be restricted into insignificance, nor extended to objects not comprehended in them, nor contemplated by its framers—is to repeat what has been already said more at large, and is all that can be necessary.Currie (1992), pp. 152–155
While Marshall was attentive when listening to oral arguments and often persuaded other justices to adopt his interpretation of the law, he was not widely read in the law, and seldom cited precedents. After the Court came to a decision, he would usually write it up himself. Often he asked , a renowned legal scholar, to do the chores of locating the precedents, saying, "There, Story; that is the law of this case; now go and find the authorities."


Jefferson administration


''Marbury v. Madison''

In his role as Secretary of State in the Adams administration, Marshall had failed to deliver commissions to 42 federal justices of the peace before the end of Adams's term. After coming to power, the Jefferson administration refused to deliver about half of these outstanding commissions, effectively preventing those individuals from receiving their appointments even though the Senate had confirmed their nominations. Though the position of justice of the peace was a relatively powerless and low-paying office, one individual whose commission was not delivered,
William Marbury William Marbury (November 7, 1762 – March 13, 1835) was a highly successful United States of America, American businessman and one of the "Midnight Judges" appointed by United States President John Adams the day before he left office. He was the ...
, decided to mount a legal challenge against the Jefferson administration. Seeking to have his judicial commission delivered, Marbury filed suit against the sitting Secretary of State, James Madison. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of '' Marbury v. Madison'' in its 1803 term. Meanwhile, the Democratic-Republicans passed the
Judiciary Act of 1802The United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, ...
, which effectively repealed the Midnight Judges Act and canceled the Supreme Court's 1802 term. They also began impeachment proceedings against federal judge John Pickering, a prominent Federalist; in response, Federalist members of Congress accused the Democratic-Republicans of trying to infringe on the independence of the federal judiciary. In early February 1803, the Supreme Court held a four-day trial for the case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', though the defendant, James Madison, refused to appear. On February 24, the Supreme Court announced its decision, which biographer Joel Richard Paul describes as "the single most significant constitutional decision issued by any court in American history." The Court held that Madison was legally bound to deliver Marbury's commission, and that Marbury had the right to sue Madison. Yet the Court also held that it could not order Madison to deliver the commission because the
Judiciary Act of 1789 The Judiciary Act of 1789 (ch. 20, ) was a United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress. It established the federal judiciary of the United States. Article Three of the Unit ...

Judiciary Act of 1789
had unconstitutionally expanded the Court's
original jurisdiction In common law legal systems original jurisdiction of a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state Sta ...
to include
writs of mandamus (; ) is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a court to any government, subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from ...
, a type of court order that commands a government official to perform an act they are legally required to perform. Because that portion of the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional, the Court held that it did not have original jurisdiction over the case even while simultaneously holding that Madison had violated the law. ''Marbury v. Madison'' was the first case in which the Supreme Court struck down a federal law as unconstitutional and it is most significant for its role in establishing the Supreme Court's power of
judicial review Judicial review is a process under which executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, ...
, or the power to invalidate laws as unconstitutional. As Marshall put it, "it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is."Paul (2018), p. 257 By asserting the power of judicial review in a holding that did not require the Jefferson administration to take action, the Court upheld its own powers without coming into direct conflict with a hostile executive branch that likely would not have complied with a court order. Historians mostly agree that the framers of the Constitution did plan for the Supreme Court to have some sort of judicial review, but Marshall made their goals operational. Though many Democratic-Republicans expected a constitutional crisis to arise after the Supreme Court asserted its power of judicial review, the Court upheld the repeal of the Midnight Judges Act in the 1803 case of '' Stuart v. Laird''.


Impeachment of Samuel Chase

In 1804, the House of Representatives impeached Associate Justice
Samuel Chase Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 – June 19, 1811) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland. He was Impeachment in the United States ...

Samuel Chase
, alleging that he had shown political bias in his judicial conduct. Many Democratic-Republicans saw the impeachment as a way to intimidate federal judges, many of whom were members of the Federalist Party. As a witness in the Senate's impeachment trial, Marshall defended Chase's actions. In March 1805, the Senate voted to acquit Chase, as several Democratic-Republican senators joined with their Federalist colleagues in refusing to remove Chase. The acquittal helped further establish the independence of the federal judiciary. Relations between the Supreme Court and the executive branch improved after 1805, and several proposals to alter the Supreme Court or strip it of jurisdiction were defeated in Congress.


Burr conspiracy trial

Vice President Aaron Burr was not renominated by his party in the 1804 presidential election and his term as vice president ended in 1805. After leaving office, Burr traveled to the western United States, where he may have entertained plans to establish an independent republic from
Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in North America ** Being related to the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal entities of Mexico ** Culture of Mexico *** Mexican cuisi ...
or American territories. In 1807, Burr was arrested and charged for
treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Cr ...
, and Marshall presided over the subsequent trial. Marshall required Jefferson to turn over his correspondence with General
James Wilkinson James Wilkinson (March 24, 1757 – December 28, 1825) was an American soldier and statesman, who was associated with several scandals and controversies. He served in the Continental Army The Continental Army was formed by the Second Con ...

James Wilkinson
; Jefferson decided to release the documents, but argued that he was not compelled to do so under the doctrine of
executive privilege Executive privilege is the right of the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the Federal government of th ...
. During the trial, Marshall ruled that much of the evidence that the government had amassed against Burr was inadmissible; biographer Joel Richard Paul states that Marshall effectively "directed the jury to acquit Burr." After Burr was acquitted, Democratic-Republicans, including President Jefferson, attacked Marshall for his role in the trial.


''Fletcher v. Peck''

In 1795, the state of Georgia had sold much of its western lands to a speculative land company, which then resold much of that land to other speculators, termed "New Yazooists." After a public outcry over the sale, which was achieved through bribery, Georgia rescinded the sale and offered to refund the original purchase price to the New Yazooists. Many of the New Yazooists had paid far more than the original purchase price, and they rejected Georgia's revocation of the sale. Jefferson tried to arrange a compromise by having the federal government purchase the land from Georgia and compensate the New Yazooists, but Congressman defeated the compensation bill. The issue remained unresolved, and a case involving the land finally reached the Supreme Court through the 1810 case of '' Fletcher v. Peck''. In March 1810, the Court handed down its unanimous holding, which voided Georgia's repeal of the purchase on the basis of the Constitution's
Contract Clause Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the ...
. The Court's ruling held that the original sale of land constituted a contract with the purchasers, and the Contract Clause prohibits states from "impairing the obligations of contracts." ''Fletcher v. Peck'' was the first case in which the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional, though in 1796 the Court had voided a state law as conflicting with the combination of the Constitution together with a treaty.


''McCulloch v. Maryland''

In 1816, Congress established the
Second Bank of the United States The Second Bank of the United States was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian National bank#United States, national bank in the United States. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was chartered from February 1816 to January 1836.. T ...
("national bank") in order to regulate the country's money supply and provide loans to the federal government and businesses. The state of Maryland imposed a tax on the national bank, but James McCulloch, the manager of the national bank's branch in
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city prop ...

Baltimore
, refused to pay the tax. After he was convicted by Maryland's court system, McCulloch appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Court heard the case of '' McCulloch v. Maryland'' in 1819. In that case, the state of Maryland challenged the constitutionality of the national bank and asserted that it had the right to tax the national bank. Writing for the Court, Marshall held that Congress had the power to charter the national bank. He laid down the basic theory of implied powers under a written Constitution; intended, as he said "to endure for ages to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs ...." Marshall envisaged a federal government which, although governed by timeless principles, possessed the powers "on which the welfare of a nation essentially depends." "Let the end be legitimate," Marshall wrote, "let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited but consist with the letter and the spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional. The Court also held that Maryland could not tax the national bank, asserting that the power to tax is equivalent to "the power to destroy." The Court's decision in ''McCulloch'' was, according to John Richard Paul, "probably the most controversial decision" handed down by the Marshall Court. Southerners, including Virginia judge , attacked the decision as an overreach of federal power. In a subsequent case, '' Osborn v. Bank of the United States'', the Court ordered a state official to return seized funds to the national bank. The ''Osborn'' case established that the Eleventh Amendment does not grant state officials
sovereign immunity Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine A legal doctrine is a framework, set of rules, Procedural law, procedural steps, or Test (law), test, often established through precedent in the common law, through which judgments ca ...
when they resist a federal court order.


''Cohens v. Virginia''

Congress established a
lottery A lottery is a form of gambling Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering something of Value (economics), value ("the stakes") on an Event (probability theory), event with an uncertain outcome with the intent of winning something e ...
in the District of Columbia in 1812, and in 1820 two individuals were convicted in Virginia for violating a state law that prohibited selling out-of-state lottery tickets. The defendants, Philip and Mendes Cohen, appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court's subsequent decision in the 1821 case of '' Cohens v. Virginia'' established that the Supreme Court could hear appeals from state courts in criminal lawsuits. The Court held that, because Virginia had brought the suit against the defendants, the Eleventh Amendment did not prohibit the case from appearing in federal court.


''Gibbons v. Ogden''

In 1808, Robert R. Livingston and
Robert Fulton Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 24, 1815) was an American engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machines, complex sys ...

Robert Fulton
secured a monopoly from the state of New York for the navigation of
steamboat upright=1.35, Dutch river steam-tugboat ''Mascotte II'' A steamboat is a boat that is propelled primarily by steam power from Stott Park Bobbin Mill, Cumbria, England A steam engine is a heat engine In thermodynamics Thermod ...

steamboat
s in state waters. Fulton granted a license to
Aaron Ogden Aaron Ogden (December 3, 1756April 19, 1839) was an American soldier, lawyer, United States Senator The United States Senate is the Upper house, upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the United States House of Representatives, ...

Aaron Ogden
and Thomas Gibbons to operate steamboats in New York, but the partnership between Ogden and Gibbons collapsed. Gibbons continued to operate steamboats in New York after receiving a federal license to operate steamboats in the waters of any state. In response, Ogden won a judgment in state court that ordered Gibbons to cease operations in the state. Gibbons appealed to the Supreme Court, which heard the case of '' Gibbons v. Ogden'' in 1824. Representing Gibbons, Congressman
Daniel Webster Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was an American lawyer and statesman who represented New Hampshire New Hampshire ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a ...

Daniel Webster
and Attorney General (acting in a non-governmental capacity) argued that Congress had the exclusive power to regulate commerce, while Ogden's attorneys contended that the Constitution did not prohibit states from restricting navigation. Writing for the Court, Marshall held that navigation constituted a form of commerce and thus could be regulated by Congress. Because New York's monopoly conflicted with a properly-issued federal license, the Court struck down the monopoly. However, Marshall did not adopt Webster's argument that Congress had the sole power to regulate commerce. Newspapers in both the Northern states and the Southern states hailed the decision as a blow against monopolies and the restraint of trade.


Jackson administration

Marshall personally opposed the presidential candidacy of
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of ...

Andrew Jackson
, whom the Chief Justice saw as a dangerous demagogue, and he caused a minor incident during the 1828 presidential campaign when he criticized Jackson's attacks on President
John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams (; July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist, who served as the 6th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . ...

John Quincy Adams
. After the death of Associate Justice Washington in 1829, Marshall was the last remaining original member of the Marshall Court, and his influence declined as new justices joined the Court. After Jackson took office in 1829, he clashed with the Supreme Court, especially with regards to his administration's policy of
Indian removal #REDIRECT Indian removal#REDIRECT Indian removal Indian removal is the former United States government policy of forced displacement of self-governing tribes of Native Americans from their ancestral homelands in the eastern United States to l ...
. In the 1823 case of '' Johnson v. M'Intosh'', the Marshall Court had established the supremacy of the federal government in dealing with
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
tribes. In the late 1820s, the state of Georgia stepped up efforts to assert its control over the
Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi or Anigiduwagi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands, ...

Cherokee
within state borders, with the ultimate goal of removing the Cherokee from the state. After Georgia passed a law that voided Cherokee laws and denied several rights to the Native Americans, former Attorney General William Wirt sought an injunction to prevent Georgia from exercising sovereignty over the Cherokee. The Supreme Court heard the resulting case of ''
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia ''Cherokee Nations v. Georgia'', 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1 (1831), was a United States Supreme Court case. The Cherokee Nation sought a federal injunction against laws passed by the U.S. state of Georgia depriving them of rights within its boundaries, but ...
'' in 1831. Writing for the Court, Marshall held that Native American tribes constituted "domestic dependent nations," a new legal status, but he dismissed the case on the basis of
standing Standing, also referred to as orthostasis, is a position in which the body is held in an ''erect'' ("orthostatic") position and supported only by the feet. Although seemingly static, the body rocks slightly back and forth from the ankle The a ...
. At roughly the same time that the Supreme Court issued its decision in ''Cherokee Nation v. Georgia'', a group of white missionaries living with the Cherokee were arrested by the state of Georgia. The State did so on the basis of an 1830 state law that prohibited white men from living on Native American land without a state license. Among those arrested was
Samuel Worcester Samuel Austin Worcester (January 19, 1798 – April 20, 1859), was an American missionary to the Cherokee, translator of the Bible, printer, and defender of the Cherokee sovereignty. He collaborated with Elias Boudinot (Cherokee), Elias Boudino ...
, who, after being convicted of violating the state law, challenged the constitutionality of the law in federal court. The arrest of the missionaries became a key issue in the 1832 presidential election, and one of the presidential candidates, William Wirt, served as the attorney for the missionaries. On March 3, 1832, Marshall delivered the opinion of the Court in the case of '' Worcester v. Georgia''. The Court's holding overturned the conviction and the state law, holding that the state of Georgia had improperly exercised control over the Cherokee. It is often reported that in response to the ''Worcester'' decision President
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of ...

Andrew Jackson
declared "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" More reputable sources recognize this as a false quotation. Regardless, Jackson refused to enforce the decision, and Georgia refused to release the missionaries. The situation was finally resolved when the Jackson administration privately convinced Governor
Wilson Lumpkin Wilson Lumpkin (January 14, 1783 – December 28, 1870) was an American planter, attorney, and politician. He served two terms as the governor of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართვ ...

Wilson Lumpkin
to pardon the missionaries.


Other key cases

Marshall established the Charming Betsy principle, a rule of
statutory interpretation Statutory interpretation is the process by which courts interpret and apply legislation. Some amount of interpretation is often necessary when a case involves a statute. Sometimes the words of a statute have a plain and a straightforward meanin ...
, in the 1804 case of ''Murray v. The Charming Betsy''. The Charming Betsy principle holds that "an act of Congress ought never to be construed to violate the law of nations if any other possible construction remains." In '' Martin v. Hunter's Lessee'', the Supreme Court held that it had the power to hear appeals from state supreme courts when a federal issue was involved. Marshall recused himself from the case because it stemmed from a dispute over Lord Fairfax's former lands, which Marshall had a financial interest in. In '' Dartmouth College v. Woodward'', the Court held that the protections of the Contract Clause apply to private corporations. In '' Ogden v. Saunders'', Marshall dissented in part and "assented" in part, and the Court upheld a state law that allowed individuals to file
bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditor A creditor or lender is a party 300px, '' Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' (1888) by Peder Severin Krøyer, a painting portraying an artists' par ...

bankruptcy
. In his separate opinion, Marshall argued that the state bankruptcy law violated the Contract Clause. In ''
Barron v. Baltimore ''Barron v. Baltimore'', 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243 (1833), is a landmark A landmark is a recognizable natural or artificial feature used for navigation, a feature that stands out from its near environment and is often visible from long distances. In ...
'', the Court held that the
Bill of Rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against Civil and political rights, infringement fr ...

Bill of Rights
was intended to apply only to the federal government, and not to the states. The courts have since incorporated most of the Bill of Rights with respect to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified decades after Marshall's death.


Authorship of Washington biography

After his appointment to the Supreme Court, Marshall began working on a biography of George Washington. He did so at the request of his close friend, Associate Justice Bushrod Washington, who had inherited the papers of his uncle. Marshall's ''The Life of George Washington'', the first biography about a U.S. president ever published, spanned five volumes and just under one thousand pages. The first two volumes, published in 1803, were poorly-received and seen by many as an attack on the Democratic-Republican Party. Nonetheless, historians have often praised the accuracy and well-reasoned judgments of Marshall's biography, while noting his frequent paraphrases of published sources such as William Gordon's 1801 history of the Revolution and the British ''Annual Register.'' After completing the revision to his biography of Washington, Marshall prepared an abridgment. In 1833 he wrote, "I have at length completed an abridgment of the Life of Washington for the use of schools. I have endeavored to compress it as much as possible. ... After striking out every thing which in my judgment could be properly excluded the volume will contain at least 400 pages." The Abridgment was not published until 1838, three years after Marshall died.


1829–1830 Virginia Constitutional Convention

In 1828, Marshall presided over a convention to promote internal improvements in Virginia. The following year, Marshall was a delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1829–30, where he was again joined by fellow American statesman and loyal Virginians,
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
and
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
, although all were quite old by that time (Madison was 78, Monroe 71, and Marshall 74). Although proposals to reduce the power of the Tidewater region's slave-owning aristocrats compared to growing western population proved controversial, Marshall mainly spoke to promote the necessity of an independent judiciary.


Death

In 1831, the 76-year-old chief justice traveled to
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...
, where he underwent an operation to remove . That December, his wife Polly died in Richmond. In early 1835, Marshall again traveled to Philadelphia for medical treatment, where he died on July 6 at the age of 79, having served as Chief Justice for over 34 years. The
Liberty Bell The Liberty Bell, previously called the State House Bell or Old State House Bell, is an iconic symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that c ...

Liberty Bell
was rung following his death—a widespread story claims that this was when the bell cracked, never to be rung again. His body was returned to Richmond and buried next to Polly's in
Shockoe Hill Cemetery The Shockoe Hill Cemetery is a historic cemetery located on Shockoe Hill in Richmond, Virginia. History Shockoe Hill Cemetery, as it is presently called, was established in 1820, with the initial burial made in 1822. It was earlier known as the "N ...
. The inscription on his tombstone, engraved exactly as he had wished, reads as follows: Marshall was among the last remaining
Founding Fathers The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing their nation. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, ...
(a group poetically called the "
Last of the Romans The term Last of the Romans ( la, Ultimus Romanorum) has historically been used to describe a person thought to embody the values of ancient Roman In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developin ...
"),, the last surviving Cabinet member from the John Adams administration and the last Cabinet member to have served in the 18th century. In December 1835, President
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of ...

Andrew Jackson
nominated
Roger Taney Roger Brooke Taney (; March 17, 1777 – October 12, 1864) was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He delivered the majority opinion in ''Dred Scott v. Sandford'' (1856), ruling that ...

Roger Taney
to fill the vacancy for chief justice.


Slavery

Marshall believed that slavery was an "evil", opposed the
slave trade Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
, and feared increasing Southern focus on
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
would fracture the Union, as ultimately occurred. However, he owned slaves for most of his life. In 1783, his father Thomas Marshall as a wedding present gave John Marshall his first slave, Robin Spurlock, who would remain Marshall's manservant as well as run Marshall's Richmond household and upon Marshall's death receive a now-seemingly cruel choice of accepting manumission on the condition of emigrating to another state or to Africa (at age 78 and leaving his still-enslaved daughter Agnes) or choosing his master/mistress from among Marshall's children. Early in his career, during the 1790s, Marshall represented slaves
pro bono ''Pro bono publico'' ( en, "for the public good"; usually shortened to ''pro bono'') is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoke ...
in a few cases, often trying to win the freedom of mixed-race individuals. In possibly his most famous anti-slavery case, Marshall represented Robert Pleasants, who sought to carry out his father's will and emancipate about ninety slaves; Marshall won the case in the Virginia High Court of Chancery, in an opinion written by his teacher George Wythe, but that court's holding was later restricted by the Virginia High Court of Appeals. In 1796, Marshall also personally emancipated Peter, a Black man he had purchased.Rudko at p. 78 Furthermore, Marshall in 1822 signed an emancipation certificate for Jasper Graham, manumitted by the will of John Graham. After slave revolts early in the 19th century, Marshall expressed reservations about large-scale emancipation, in part because he feared that a large number of free blacks might rise up in revolution. Moreover, Virginia in 1806 passed a law requiring freed blacks to leave the state. Marshall instead favored sending free blacks to
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
. In 1817 Marshall joined the
American Colonization Society American Colonization Society (ACS), originally known as the The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, was founded in 1816 by Robert Finley to encourage and support the migration of free African Americans to the con ...
(Associate Justice
Bushrod Washington Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 – November 26, 1829) was an attorney and politician who served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States An associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is any member ...
being its national President until his death and Clerk of the Supreme Court Elias Caldwell the organization's long-time secretary) to further that goal. Marshall purchased a life membership two years later, in 1823 founded the Richmond and Manchester Auxiliary (becoming that branch's president), and in 1834 pledged $5000 when the organization experienced financial problems. In 1825, as Chief Justice, Marshall wrote an opinion in the case of the captured slave ship ''Antelope'', in which he acknowledged that slavery was against natural law, but upheld the continued enslavement of approximately one-third of the ship's cargo (although the remainder were to be sent to Liberia). Recent biographer and editor of Marshall's papers, Charles F. Hobson, noted that multitudes of scholars dating back to Albert Beveridge and Irwin S. Rhodes understated the number of slaves Marshall owned by counting only his household slaves in Richmond, and often ignored even the slaves at "Chickahominy Farm" in Henrico County that Marshall used as a retreat. Moreover, Marshall had received the family's Oak Hill 1,000 acre plantation (farmed by enslaved labor) in Fauquier County from his father when Thomas Marshall moved to Kentucky, inherited it in 1802, and in 1819 entrusted its operation to his son Thomas Marshall. Moreover, in the mid-1790s John Marshall arranged to buy a vast estate from Lord Fairfax's heir Denny Martin, which led to years of litigation in Virginia and federal courts, some by his brother James Marshall, and Marshall even traveled to Europe to secure financing in 1796. Eventually, that led to the Supreme Court's decision in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816), from which Chief Justice Marshall recused himself as an interested party (but which made him wealthy). In fact, Marshall arranged with his longtime friend and Associate Justice Bushrod Washington to edit and publish the late George Washington's papers in order to (re)finance that purchase. Marshall's large family came to own many slaves, even if as Hobson argues Marshall derived his non-judicial income not from farming but by selling often-uncultivated western lands. Research by historian Paul Finkelman revealed that Marshall may have owned hundreds of slaves, and engaged in the buying and selling of slaves throughout his life, although Hobson believes Finkelman overstated Marshall's involvement, confused purchases by relatives of the same name and noted the large gap between Marshall's documented slave purchases (in the 1780s and 1790s), and the 1830s (in which Marshall both drafted and modified his will and sold slaves to pay debts of his late son John Marshall Jr.). Finkelman has repeatedly suggested that Marshall's substantial slave holdings may have influenced him to render judicial decisions in favor of slave owners.


Personal life and family

Marshall met Mary "Polly" Ambler, the youngest daughter of state treasurer Jaquelin Ambler, during the Revolutionary War, and soon began courting her. Marshall married Mary (1767–1831) on January 3, 1783, in the home of her cousin, John Ambler. They had 10 children; six of whom survived to adulthood. Between the births of son Jaquelin Ambler in 1787 and daughter Mary in 1795, Polly Marshall suffered two miscarriages and lost two infants, which affected her health during the rest of her life. The Marshalls had six children who survived until adulthood:
Thomas Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...
(who would eventually serve in the Virginia House of Delegates), Jaquelin, Mary,
James James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...

James
, and
Edward Edward is an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the Worl ...
. Marshall loved his Richmond home, built in 1790, and spent as much time there as possible in quiet contentment.
National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mecha ...

''"The Great Chief Justice" at Home,'' Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan
/ref> After his father's death in 1803, Marshall inherited the Oak Hill estate, where he and his family also spent time. For approximately three months each year, Marshall lived in Washington during the Court's annual term, boarding with Justice Story during his final years at the Ringgold-Carroll House. Marshall also left Virginia for several weeks each year to serve on the circuit court in
Raleigh, North Carolina Raleigh (; ) is the capital city, capital of the state of North Carolina and the List of North Carolina county seats, seat of Wake County, North Carolina, Wake County in the United States. It is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, se ...
. From 1810 to 1813, he also maintained the D. S. Tavern property in
Albemarle County, Virginia Albemarle County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term i ...
. Marshall was not religious, and although his grandfather was a priest, never formally joined a church. He did not believe Jesus was a divine being, and in some of his opinions referred to a
deist Deism ( or ; derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
"Creator of all things." He was an active
Freemason Freemasonry or Masonry refers to Fraternity, fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local guilds of Stonemasonry, stonemasons that, from the end of the 13th century, regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their inte ...
and served as Grand Master of Masons in Virginia in 1794–1795 of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Virginia. While in Richmond, Marshall attended St. John's Church on Church Hill until 1814 when he led the movement to hire Robert Mills as architect of
Monumental Church Monumental Church is a former Episcopal church that stands at 1224 E. Broad Street between N. 12th and College streets in Richmond, Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic ...
, which was near his home and rebuilt to commemorate 72 people who died in a theater fire. The Marshall family occupied Monumental Church's pew No. 23 and entertained the
Marquis de Lafayette Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States as Lafayette (, ), was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, c ...

Marquis de Lafayette
there during his visit to Richmond in 1824. Other notable relatives of Marshall include first cousin U.S. Senator (Ky) Humphrey Marshall, Thomas Francis Marshall,
Confederate Army The Confederate States Army, also called the Confederate Army or simply the Southern Army, was the military land force of the Confederate States of America (commonly referred to as the Confederacy) during the American Civil War (1861–1865) ...
colonel Charles Marshall, and first cousin, three times removed, General of the Army
George C. Marshall George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of the United State ...
.


Impact and legacy

The three chief justices that had preceded Marshall:
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
,
John Rutledge John Rutledge (September 17, 1739 – June 21, 1800) was an American Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father, politician, and jurist who served as one of the original Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, ass ...
, and
Oliver Ellsworth Oliver Ellsworth (April 29, 1745 – November 26, 1807) was an American lawyer, judge, politician, and diplomat. He was a framer of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the Uni ...

Oliver Ellsworth
, had left little permanent mark beyond setting up the forms of office. The Supreme Court, like many state supreme courts, was a minor organ of government. In his 34-year tenure, Marshall gave it the energy, weight, and dignity of what many would say is a third co-equal branch of the U.S. government. With his associate justices, especially
Joseph Story Joseph Story (September 18, 1779 – September 10, 1845) was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from 1812 to 1845. He is most remembered for his opinions in ''Martin v. Hunter's Lessee'' and ''United States v. ...

Joseph Story
,
William JohnsonWilliam Johnson may refer to: Entertainment * Bunk Johnson (William Gary Johnson, 1879–1949), American jazz musician * William Johnson (artist) (1901–1970), African–American painter of the Harlem Renaissance * William Johnson (actor) (1916 ...
, and
Bushrod Washington Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 – November 26, 1829) was an attorney and politician who served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States An associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is any member ...
, Marshall's Court brought to life the constitutional standards of the new nation. Marshall used Federalist approaches to build a strong federal government over the opposition of the Jeffersonian Republicans, who wanted stronger state governments. His influential rulings reshaped American government, making the Supreme Court the final arbiter of constitutional interpretation. The Marshall Court struck down an act of Congress in only one case ('' Marbury v. Madison'' in 1803) but that established the Court as a center of power that could overrule the Congress, the President, the states, and all lower courts if that is what a fair reading of the Constitution required. He also defended the legal rights of corporations by tying them to the individual rights of the stockholders, thereby ensuring that corporations have the same level of protection for their property as individuals had, and shielding corporations against intrusive state governments. Many commentators have written concerning Marshall's contributions to the theory and practice of
judicial review Judicial review is a process under which executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, ...
. Among his strongest followers in the European tradition has been
Hans Kelsen Hans Kelsen (; ; October 11, 1881 – April 19, 1973) was an Austrian jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a ...

Hans Kelsen
for the inclusion of the principle of judicial review in the constitutions of both Czechoslovakia and Austria. In her recent book on Hans Kelsen, Sandrine Baume identified
John Hart Ely John Hart Ely (December 3, 1938 – October 25, 2003) was an American legal scholar known for his studies of constitutional law. He was a professor of law at Yale University Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (als ...
as a significant defender of the "compatibility of judicial review with the very principles of democracy." Baume identified John Hart Ely alongside Dworkin as the foremost defenders of Marshall's principle in recent years, while the opposition to this principle of "compatibility" were identified as
Bruce Ackerman Bruce Arnold Ackerman (born August 19, 1943) is an American constitutional law scholar. He is a Sterling Professor Sterling Professor, the highest academic rank at Yale University, is awarded to a tenured faculty member considered the best in h ...
and
Jeremy Waldron Jeremy Waldron (; born 13 October 1953) is a New Zealand professor of law and philosophy. He holds a University Professorship at the New York University School of Law and was formerly the Chichele Professorship, Chichele Professor of Social and Po ...

Jeremy Waldron
. In contrast to Waldron and Ackerman, Ely and Dworkin were long-time advocates of the principle of defending the Constitution upon the lines of support they saw as strongly associated with enhanced versions of judicial review in the federal government. The University of Virginia placed many volumes of Marshall's papers online as a searchable digital edition. The
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
maintains the John Marshall papers which Senator Albert Beveridge used while compiling his biography of the chief justice a century ago. The Special Collections Research Center at the
College of William & Mary The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public university, public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued ...
holds other John Marshall papers in its Special Collections.


Monuments and memorials

in Richmond, Virginia, has been preserved by
Preservation Virginia Founded in 1889, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities was the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, pri ...
(formerly known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities). It is considered to be an important landmark and museum, essential to an understanding of the Chief Justice's life and work. Additionally, his birthplace in
Fauquier County, Virginia Fauquier is a county (United States), county in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 65,203. The county seat is Warrenton, Virginia, Warrenton. Fauquier Cou ...
has been preserved as the John Marshall Birthplace Park. An engraved portrait of Marshall appears on U.S. paper money on the series 1890 and 1891 treasury notes. These rare notes are in great demand by note collectors today. Also, in 1914, an engraved portrait of Marshall was used as the central vignette on series 1914 $500 federal reserve notes. These notes are also quite scarce. (
William McKinley William McKinley (January 29, 1843September 14, 1901) was the 25th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power of ...
replaced Marshall on the $500 bill in 1928.) Examples of both notes are available for viewing on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco website. Marshall was also featured on a commemorative silver dollar in 2005. In 1955, the
United States Postal Service The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a te ...
released the 40¢
Liberty Issue The Liberty issue was a definitive series of postage stamp A postage stamp is a small piece of paper issued by a post office, postal administration, or other authorized vendors to customers who pay postage (the cost involved in moving, insu ...
postage stamp honoring him. ''
Chief Justice John Marshall ''Chief Justice John Marshall'' is a bronze sculpture of John Marshall, by American sculptor William Wetmore Story. It is located at the United States Supreme Court building, Supreme Court, 1 First Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C. It was dedica ...

Chief Justice John Marshall
'', a
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
statue of Marshall wearing his judicial robes, stands on the ground floor inside the U.S. Supreme Court building. Unveiled in 1884, and initially placed on the west plaza of the , it was sculpted by
William Wetmore Story William Wetmore Story (February 12, 1819 – October 7, 1895) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of ...

William Wetmore Story
. His father,
Joseph Story Joseph Story (September 18, 1779 – September 10, 1845) was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from 1812 to 1845. He is most remembered for his opinions in ''Martin v. Hunter's Lessee'' and ''United States v. ...

Joseph Story
, had served on the Supreme Court with Marshall. Another casting of the statue is located at the north end of John Marshall Park in Washington D.C. (the sculpture '' The Chess Players'', commemorating Marshall's love for the game of
chess Chess is a board game Board games are tabletop game Tabletop games are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New Yor ...

chess
, is located on the east side of the park), and a third is situated on the grounds of the
Philadelphia Museum of Art The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum originally chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair to be held in the United States, was held in Philadelphi ...

Philadelphia Museum of Art
.
Marshall, Michigan Marshall is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It c ...
, was named in his honor five years before Marshall's death. It was the first of dozens of communities and counties named for him.City of Marshall, Michigan
/ref>
Marshall County, Kentucky Marshall County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
,
Marshall County, Illinois Marshall County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term ...
,
Marshall County, Indiana Marshall County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
,
Marshall County, Iowa Marshall County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
, and
Marshall County, West Virginia Marshall County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
, are also named in his honor. Marshall College, named in honor of Chief Justice Marshall, officially opened in 1836. After a merger with Franklin College in 1853, the school was renamed as
Franklin and Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence ...
and relocated to
Lancaster, Pennsylvania Lancaster, ( ; Pennsylvania German language, Pennsylvania German: ''Lengeschder'') also known as the Red Rose City is a city in South Central Pennsylvania, that serves as the county seat, seat of Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, L ...
.
Marshall University Marshall University is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonw ...
,
Cleveland–Marshall College of Law Cleveland–Marshall College of Law is the law school of Cleveland State University, located on Euclid Avenue (Cleveland), Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The school traces its origins to Cleveland Law School (founded in 1897), whi ...
, John Marshall Law School (Atlanta), and formerly, the John Marshall Law School (now the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law) are or were also named for Marshall. On May 20, 2021, the former John Marshall Law School in Chicago announced its official change of name to University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, effective July 1. The university board of trustees acknowledged that "newly discovered research","UIC renaming John Marshall Law School"
by Stefano Esposito, ''Chicago Sun-Times'', May 21, 2021. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
uncovered by historian Paul Finkelman,"Editorial: A law school discounts John Marshall’s positive legacy"
''Chicago Tribune'', May 25, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
had revealed that Marshall was a slave trader and owner who practised "pro-slavery jurisprudence", which was deemed inappropriate for the school's namesake. Numerous
elementary In computational complexity theory, the complexity class ELEMENTARY of elementary recursive functions is the union of the classes : \begin \mathsf & = \bigcup_ k\mathsf \\ & = \mathsf\left(2^n\right)\cup\mathsf\left(2^\right)\ ...
, , and
high schools A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...
around the nation have been named for him. The John Marshall commemorative dollar was minted in 2005.


See also

*
List of justices of the Supreme Court of the United States #REDIRECT List of justices of the Supreme Court of the United States #REDIRECT List of justices of the Supreme Court of the United States#REDIRECT List of justices of the Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States ...
*
List of United States Supreme Court cases by the Marshall Court This is a partial chronological list of cases decided by the United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United State ...
*
Discovery doctrine The discovery doctrine, also called doctrine of discovery, is a concept of public international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in rel ...


Notes


References


Works cited

* * Finkelman, Paul (2016). * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading


Secondary sources

* * * ''The Life of John Marshall'', in 4 volumes (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1919), winner of the
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...

Volume IVolume II

Volume III
an
Volume IV
at
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
. * * *
online Edition
at
Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labour for community service. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, educati ...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Primary sources

* Brockenbrough, John W., ed. ''Reports of Cases Decided by the Honourable John Marshall, late Chief Justice of the United States in the Circuit Court of the United States District of Virginia and North Carolina From 1802 to 1833 Inclusive in Two Volumes'', (Philadelphia, 1837
Volume 1
an
Volume 2
These are Marshall's decisions in the District Court, not the Supreme Court decisions. For United States Supreme Court decisions see below under Cotton and Dillon. * Cotton, Joseph Peter Jr., ed., ''The Constitutional Decisions of John Marshall'' in two volumes (1905
Vol. 1Vol. 2
(New York and London). * Dickinson, Marquis F., ed. ''John Marshall: The Tribute of Massachusetts, Being The Addresses Delivered at Boston and Cambridge, February 4, 1901 In Commemoration of The One Hundredth Anniversary of His Elevation to the Bench as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States'', Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1901. * Dillon, John M., ed.
John Marshall: The Complete Constitutional Decisions
(1903, Chicago) * Hobson, Charles F.; Perdue, Susan Holbrook; and Lovelace, Joan S., eds. ''The Papers of John Marshall'' published by
University of North Carolina Press The University of North Carolina Press (or UNC Press), founded in 1922, is a university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which used to be the headquarters of Cambridge University Press, and now serves as a conference centre for the P ...
for the
Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OI) is the oldest organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to advancing the study, research, and publication of scholarship bearing on the history and culture of early Ame ...
; the standard scholarly edition; most recent volume
online guide
''Vol XII: Correspondence, Papers, and Selected Judicial Opinions, January 1831 – July 1835, with Addendum, June 1783 – January 1829.'' (2006) . * Hobson, Charles F., ''John Marshall: Writings'', Library of America, New York, 2010 (This volume collects 196 documents written between 1779 and 1835, including Marshall's most important judicial opinions, his influential rulings during the Aaron Burr treason trial, speeches, newspaper essays, and revealing letters to friends, fellow judges, and his beloved wife, Polly.)
Table of Contents
* Marshall, John. ''″The Events of My Life″: An Autobiographical Sketch by John Marshall''. Introduction by William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States. Edited by Lee C. Bollinger and John C. Dann. Jointly published by Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and Supreme Court Historical Society, Washington, D.C., 2001. * Oster, John Edward, ed.
The Political and Economic Doctrines of John Marshall
(1914, New York) *
Memoir of the Hon. John Marshall, LL.D., Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In Joseph Story's Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 183–200. An expanded versio
Character, and Services of Chief Justice John Marshall A Discourse Pronounced October 15, 1835 At the Request of the Suffolk Bar''
in the second edition of Story's Miscellaneous Writings pp. 639–697. * , ed., (1891 – reprint of th
1837 edition)Writings of John Marshall, late Chief Justice of the United States, upon the Federal Constitution'', at
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...


External links

* *
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 1 (of 5)
Commander in Chief of the American Forces During the War which Established the Independence of his Country and First President of the United States (English) *
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 2 (of 5)
*
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 3 (of 5)
*
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 4 (of 5)
*
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5)
* *
The John Marshall Foundation
Richmond, Virginia
John Marshall Papers, 1755–1835
at
The College of William & Mary The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public university, public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693 by letters patent issued ...
*
National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mecha ...

''"The Great Chief Justice" at Home,'' Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan

Research Collections: Marshall, John
at the
Federal Judicial Center The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research agency of the United States federal court The federal judiciary of the United States is one of the three branches of the federal government of the United States organized under the Const ...
* Virginia Historical Society

Video Biography of John Marshall. , - , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Marshall, John 1755 births 1835 deaths 18th-century American Episcopalians 19th-century American Episcopalians 19th-century American judges American people of English descent American people of Scottish descent American slave owners British North American Anglicans Chief Justices of the United States College of William & Mary alumni Continental Army officers from Virginia Delegates to the Virginia Ratifying Convention 18th-century American politicians 18th-century American judges Federalist Party members of the United States House of Representatives
Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows, Associate Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. {{CatAutoTOC, numerals=no American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows of learned societies of the United States, Arts and Sciences, American Ac ...
Hall of Fame for Great Americans inductees John Adams administration cabinet members Marshall family (political family), John Members of the American Antiquarian Society Members of the American Philosophical Society Members of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia Members of the Virginia House of Delegates People from Fauquier County, Virginia Politicians from Richmond, Virginia People of the Quasi-War Randolph family of Virginia United States federal judges appointed by John Adams United States Secretaries of State Virginia Federalists Virginia lawyers United States federal judges admitted to the practice of law by reading law American colonization movement