Chief Justice John Marshall

All his Important Cases

Marbury Vs Madison


Summary: "Midnight Judge" Marbury (federalist) wasn't given his appointment by Madison (Jefferson's secretary of state)

Established The Principle of Judicial Review

Declare Laws Unconstitutional

McCulloch Vs Maryland


Summary: Dealt with second BUS

Maryland taxed BUS hoping to destroy it

Significance:supreme court sides against Maryland

supremacy of federal over state Government

Dartmouth College Vs Woodward


Summary of Case:

-Issue over NH trying to change charter of the college


-Marshall says the charter was a contract

-"The constitution protected contracts against state encroachments

Fletcher Vs. Peck

Summary:In 1795 Georgia legislature divided the area into 4 tracts and sold them to 4 separate land development companies at a bargain, for about 1.4 cents an acre for a total price of $500,000, a very good deal, and known as the Yazoo Land Act of 1795.

Significance:The first case in which the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional, the decision also helped create a growing precedent for the sanctity of legal contracts, and hinted that Native Americans did not hold title to their own lands

Martin Vs Hunter's Leese

Summary:The state of Virginia enacted legislation during the Revolutionary War that gave the State the power to confiscate the property of British Loyalists. Hunter was given a grant of land by the State. Denny Martin held the land under devise from Lord Thomas Fair fax.

Significance: The significance of Martin v Hunter's lessee deals with the power of state and federal courts. This case established that the Supreme court has supremacy over state courts, and that state courts must hold decisions made by the supreme court.

Cohen's Vs Virginia

Summary:An act of Congress authorized the operation of a lottery in the District of Columbia. The Cohen brothers proceeded to sell D.C. lottery tickets in the state of Virginia, violating state law. State authorities tried and convicted the Cohens, and then declared themselves to be the final arbiters of disputes between the states and the national government.

Significance: The Supreme Court's right to review state court decisions in criminal law matters when Constitutional rights have been violated