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Corruption of John Marshall

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Corruption of the Central Government
As the United States Chief Justice, John Marshall changed several governmental standards. These standards include the change in the judicial system and strengthening the central government. “As man whose political doctrines led always…to strengthen government at the expense of the people,” this quote states that Marshall’s goal was only to improve the federal government at the expense of the states. Marshall had served at Valley Forge and had been impressed with the drawbacks of no central authority, thus he became a lifelong Federalist, committed to strengthening the power of the federal government. His theory of putting the central government over the states is a corrupt and damaging idea that will lead to future events, such as Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Cohens v. Virginia, and Gibbons v. Ogden. The power of the federal government should be left in the hands of the states.
Marbury v. Madison (1803) case was the beginning of the corrupt theories of John Marshall. William Marbury had been a “midnight judge” appointed by John Adams in the last hours of being president. Marbury had been named Justice for Peace for the District of Columbia, but when Secretary of State James Madison shelved the position, he sued for its delivery. Chief Justice Marshall knew that his Jeffersonian rivals, deep-rooted in the executive branch, would not attempt to enforce a writ to deliver the commission to Federalist Marbury. He therefore dismissed Marbury’s suit. Despite the dismissal of the case, Marshall snatched a victory from this judicial defeat. In explaining his ruling, Marshall said that part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 on which Marshall tried to base his appeal was unconstitutional. This attempted to assign the Supreme Court power that the Constitution had not anticipated. This act by Marshall attempted the shift of power to the Supreme Courts for his benefit. This greatly magnified the authority of the court.
The remaining three court cases epitomize the overpowering central government that John Marshall has established over the states. This is a controlling theory that Marshall has put over the states. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) involved an attempt by the state of Maryland to close the Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on its notes. John Marshall declared the bank constitutional by invoking the Hamilton Doctrine of implied powers. At the same time, he strengthened federal authority and slapped at state infringements when he denied the right of Maryland to tax the bank. Two years later the case of Cohens v. Virginia gave Marshall one of the greatest opportunities to defend the federal power. Cohens, found guilty by Virginia courts illegally selling lottery tickets, appealed to the highest court of law. Virginia won, in the sense that the conviction of the Cohens was supported. But in fact, Virginia and all individual states lost because John Marshall clearly asserted the right of the Supreme Court to review decisions of the state courts in all questions involving the federal government. The states’ liberty proponents were stunned. Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) was a law suit that grew out of an attempt by New York State to grant to a private concern of a monopoly of waterborne commerce between New York and New Jersey. Marshall reminded the state that the Constitution deliberated on Congress alone the control of commerce within the state. John Marshall clearly deprives the states of independence; this was explained through these three federal cases.
The theory that the federal government’s power should reside with the states is a valid statement. The cases of Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Cohens v. Virginia, and Gibbons v. Ogden demonstrated the corruption of Chief Justice John Marshall. Marshall’s objective was to give all power to the central government and deprive the states of it, causing an overpowering Supreme Court. The quote, “As man whose political doctrines led always…to strengthen government at the expense of the people,” is a perfect example of the Chief Justice’s actions.

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