John Marshall Legacy Project

Ali Muhammad

Marbury Vs Madison

  • Case was in 1803

  • The trials resulted because Marbury had been appointed as the judge of peace by John Adams at the end of his term. When Thomas Jefferson was elected as president, but commission was not sent to him because he was a federalist, and Jefferson didn’t want a federalist in the court, because he was an anti-federalist.

  • This established the principle of Judicial Review.

  • This was important because it gave the Judicial branch power, and gave better checks and balances.

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Fletcher Vs Peck

  • Case was in 1810

  • This trial started, because Georgia’s possession of the Yazoo Land, which had become Alabama and Mississippi, they split it into 4 tracts, and sold the tracts. This had been approved, as the Yazoo act of 1795. This had been a scandal and was exposed. Robert Fletcher, and especially John Peck, were speculators in the Yazoo lands. Fletcher bought a tract of land from Peck while the 1795 act was still in force. Fletcher later brought this suit against Peck, claiming that Peck had not had clear title to the land when he sold it. The resulting case reached the Supreme Court which in a unanimous decision ruled that the state legislature's repeal of the law was void because it was unconstitutional.

  • This established the courts power to declare things unconstitutional

  • This was important because it was the first trial where the supreme court deemed an act unconstitutional

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Martin vs. Hunter’s Lesse

  • Case in 1816

  • During the American Revolution, Virginia enacted legislation that allowed it to confiscate Loyalists' property. Here, the original suit was an action of ejectment brought in Virginia state court for the recovery of land in the state known as the Northern Neck Proprietary.. Denny Martin was a British subject who held the land under the command of a lord. The Virginia court decided that the U.S. Supreme Court did not have authority over cases starting in a state court. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the state court's decision, ruling that questions of federal law were within its jurisdiction, and thereby establishing its own supremacy in matters of the constitution's interpretation

  • Established federal power over states.

  • This showed how the government’s power had over the state’s power.

Cohens vs. Virginia

  • Year of the case was 1821

  • This had started because of lottery tickets. There had been a national lottery started to raise the economy. Virginia had prohibited this in the state, because they made their own lottery, and only wanted there’s sold in there state. The Cohen brothers, who made profits off the national lottery, were convicted for selling lottery tickets in Virginia. The Cohen’s believed there constitutional’s rights were violated, and it was brought to court.

  • most noted for the Court's assertion of its power to review state supreme court decisions in criminal law matters when the defendant claims that their Constitutional rights have been violated.

  • Showed supreme court could take over cases, if constitutional rights were violated.

Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

  • Case was in 1819

  • The case began when the president of Dartmouth College was removed by its trustees, leading to the New Hampshire legislature trying to force the college to become a public institution and thereby place the ability to appoint trustees in the hands of the governor of New Hampshire. The Supreme Court upheld the sacredness of the original charter of the college.

  • The decision settled the battle of public versus private charters and resulted in the rise of the American business corporation.

  • Dealt with the Contract Clause of Private ownership

McCulloch (or McCullogh) vs. Maryland

  • Case was 1819

  • Maryland began to try to impose a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. Maryland had obviously tried to target the USA bank of America, so the Supreme Court stepped in. The Court invoked the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, which allowed the Federal government to pass laws not expressly provided for in the Constitution's list of express powers.

  • Showed congress’s implied powers for practicing constitution express powers

  • State action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government.

John Marshall Harlan I (Supreme Court Justice Rap)