Assess the Leadership of John Marshall as Chief Justice

Topics: United States Constitution, U.S. state, Supreme Court of the United States Pages: 3 (638 words) Published: March 20, 2013
4.) Assess the leadership of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

I.) John Marshall
a. Served as justice from 1801-1835
b. More than anyone but the framers themselves, he molded the development of the Constitution: i. Strengthening the Supreme Court, increasing the power of the federal government, and advancing the interests of the propertied and commercial classes. II.) Marshall Court

c. Fletcher v. Peck (1810)
ii. Series of notorious land frauds in Georgia
iii. Decide whether the Georgia legislature of 1796 could repeal that act of the previous legislature granting lands under shady circumstances to the Yazoo Land Companies. 1. In a unanimous decision, Marshall held that a land grant was a valid contract and could not be repealed even if corruption was involved. d. Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)

iv. Having gained control of New Hampshire’s state government, Republicans tried to revise Dartmouth’s charter, changing school from private college to state university. v. Daniel Webster argued the college’s case.

2. Argued: The charter was a contract protected by the same doctrine that the court already upheld in Fletcher v. Peck. vi. Ruling: Ruled in favor of Dartmouth
3. Proclaimed that corporation charters were contracts and thus inviolable. 4. Placed important restrictions on the ability of state governments to control corporations. a. The justices essentially claimed for themselves the right to override the decisions of state courts. e. Cohens v. Virginia (1821)

vii. Marshall explicitly affirmed the constitutionality of federal review of state court decisions. 5. States had given up part of their sovereignty in ratifying the Constitution and their courts must submit to federal jurisdiction. f. McCulloch v. Maryland

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