"John Marshall was the fourth chief justice of the United States, he was known as Great Chief Justice. He established the modern status of the Supreme Court. He served in the Revolutionary War, studied law, and was elected to the Virginia legislature in 1782. A staunch Federalist, Marshall supported acceptance of the Constitution. He declined ministerial posts but became one of the United States negotiators who resolved the XYZ Affair. Elected to Congress in 1799, he was made secretary of state by President John Adams. In 1801 he became Chief Justice. Marshall labored to increase the then-scant power and prestige of the Supreme Courts" (Harkavy, 680).
One of Chief Justice John Marshall's first decisions was in the case Marbury v. Madison. "Near the end of President Adams first administration Congress authorized the President to appoint justices of the peace for the District of Columbia. This was the occasion of the midnight appointments and the failure of Adam's Secretary of State to deliver commissions of appointment. A new administration took office and Secretary of State Madison, directed by President Jefferson, refused delivery. Thereupon Marbury, one of the midnight appointees, went to the Supreme Court requesting a judicial order, writ of mandamus, to compel Madison to deliver his commission. Article III. Section 2, of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction... [continues]
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