The Legacy of John Marshall

The Judicial Branch

Marbury Vs Madison

1803, Marbury was appointed judge. But Jefferson didn’t want to have a federalist in the court. Supreme court started a case. Ending in the judicial review. The supreme court can declare cases unconstitutional.


Fletcher vs. Peck

1810, the Supreme Court ruled that a grant to a private land company was a contract within the meaning of the Contract Clause Of the Constitution, and once made could not be repealed. Served as a major barrier to state economic regulation of business corporation.


Martin Vs Hunter's Lesse

1816, Hunter was given a grant of land by the State, but Denny Martin held the land under devise from Lord Thomas Fairfax. The trial court was in favor of Martin, but The Supreme Court of the United States reversed in favor of Martin, holding that the treaty with England superseded the state statute, and remanded the case to the Virginia court of appeals to enter judgment for Martin. The Virginia court refused, asserting that the appellate power of the U.S. Supreme Court did not extend to judgments from the Virginia court of appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over state court decisions involving federal law. (Supreme Court could review decisions from the highest State courts).


Cohens Vs Virgina

1821,The Cohen brothers proceeded to sell D.C. lottery tickets in the Commonwealth of Virginia, violating state law of not allowing lotteries. They were convicted and fined, so they appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that their conduct was protected by the Act of Congress authorizing the D.C. lottery. The court adopts the "Expansive View," stating that the court has appellate jurisdiction over anything arising under the Constitution regardless of who the parties are.



Dartmouth College Vs Woodward

1816, New Hampshire legislature tried to change Dartmouth College into a state university. The legislature transferred the control of trustee appointments to the governor. In an attempt to regain authority over the resources of Dartmouth College, the old trustees filed suit against William H. Woodward, who sided with the new appointees. The Court held that the College's corporate charter qualified as a contract between private parties, with which the legislature could not interfere.



McCulloch Vs Maryland

created the first national bank for the country in 1791. Maryland attempted to close the Baltimore branch of the national bank by passing a law that forced all banks that were created outside of the state to pay a yearly tax. James McCulloch, a branch employee, refused to pay the tax and was sued by the state of Maryland because they had the right to tax any business. The Supreme Court determined that Congress has implied powers that allow it to create a national bank, even though the Constitution does not explicitly state that power, and that Maryland’s taxing of its branches was unconstitutional.