Chief Justice John Marshall

Supreme Court Cases

Marbury VS. Madison

  • year of the case: 1803
  • Background of the case: At the end of President John Adams term his secretary failed to send documents commissioning William Marbury as justice of peace in the District of Columbia. Marbury then sued James Madison asking the Supreme Court to issue a writ requiring him to deliver the documents necessary to officially make Marbury justice of peace.
  • Constitutional principle: Established judicial review.
  • Why is this case important: the Marbury vs. Madison decision resulted in establishment of the concept of the judicial review.

Flethcher Vs. Peck

  • year of the case:1810
  • background of the case: Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional.
  • constitution principle: The Supreme Court made a unanimous decision ruled by the states legislator's repeal of the law was void because it was unconstitutional.
  • why this case is important: Helped create a growing precedent for the sanctity of legal contracts.

Martin Vs. Hunters Lesse

  • year of case:1816
  • background of the case: The federal power was given directly by the people and not by the States. the court rejected concerns regarding state judicial sovereignty.
  • constitution principle: . The Supreme Court could already review state executive and legislative decisions and this case was no different. Story then confronted the arguments that state judges were bound to uphold the Constitution just as federal judges were, and so denying state interpretations presumed that the state judges would less than faithfully interpret the Constitution.
  • why this case is important: Fifty years after the Supreme Court handed down this opinion, it held in ex parte McCardle that while the Court’s appellate jurisdiction is subject to exceptions and regulations imposed by Congress, it is derived from the Constitution itself and not from acts of Congress.

Dart Mouth college Vs. Woodward

  • Year of the case:1819
  • Background of the case: the case was a land mark decision from the supreme court dealing with the application of the contract clause of the united states constitution to private corporation.
  • Constitution principle: The decision settled the nature of public versus private charters and resulted in the rise of the American business corporation and the free American enterprise system.
  • Why this case is important:The Supreme Court upheld the sanctity of the original charter of the college which pre-dated the creation of the State.

McCulloch vs. MaryLand

  • year of the case:1819
  • background of the case: On April 8, 1816, the Congress of the United States passed an act titled "An Act to Incorporate the Subscribers to the Bank of the United States" which provided for the incorporation of the second bank in the united states. On February 11, 1818, the General Assembly of Maryland passed an act titled, "an act to impose a tax on all banks, or branches thereof, in the state of Maryland, not chartered by the legislature":
  • constitution principle:This case established two important principles in constitutional law. First, the Constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the Constitution's express powers, in order to create a functional national government. Second, state action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government.
    why this case is important:The Court determined that Congress did have the power to create the Bank. Chief Justice Marshall supported this conclusion with four main arguments. First, he argued that historical practice established Congress' power to create the Bank. Marshall invoked the first Bank of the United States history as authority for the constitutionality of the second bank