John Marshall's Court Cases

Constitutional Court Cases

Chief Justice John Marshall

John Marshall was born September 24,1755 in Virginia. Later during John Adams presidency, Adams had appointed Marshall where he served for 34 years, the longest tenure of any chief justice. Marshall was a federalist and always sided with national government vs. state government. Marshall later died July 6, 1835 at the age of 79 years.

Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

Year: 1819

New Hampshire wanted to change the charter of the college. However Marshall said the charter was a contract which the Constitution protected against state encroachment. This was ruled with the Contract Clause in the Constitution.

McCulloch vs. Maryland


This case dealt with the second Bank of the United States (BUS). Maryland didn't like the BUS so it had taxed the bank in hopes of destroying it. Marshall sided against Maryland for the supremacy of the federal government over the state government. He declared the BUS was constitutional. This was ruled with the Doctrine of Implied Powers.

Martin vs. Hunter’s Lessee


The case was about two men, hunter and martin, about who would get a piece of land in Virginia. The state of Virginia granted the land to Hunter but martin got the land under devise from Lord Thomas Fairfax.The Supreme Court can override state decisions. Also created the mandate of the Supremacy Clause.

Marbury vs. Madison

Year: 1803

Adams is currently in office during this time but is about to be an outgoing president, he creates the Midnight appointment for Marbury but Madison never delivers it.

Established the concept of Judicial Review and the ability of the Judiciary branch to declare a law unconstitutional. This case brought the Judicial branches more of an even power basis with the Legislative and Executive branch.

Fletcher vs. Peck

Year- 1810

Robert Fletcher brought a suit against John Peck for a breach of covenant on land that Fletcher Purchased in 1803. Was the first case that the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional. This case ruled that the Constitution did not distinguish between contracts between individuals and contracts to which a state was a party.

Cohens vs. Virginia

Two brothers P.J. Cohen and M.J. Cohen who sold Lottery Tickets in Washington D.C.. Even though Lottery Tickets were illegal to sell in the United States. The case is considered to be the start of policy regulating the ability of the Federal Government to overrule legislation belonging to individual states. Cohen‘s then argued to go in front of the supreme court to make the sales of lottery tickets legal. This ruled that the Supreme Court can review all Criminal laws in a state supreme court.