John Marshall

Strengthening Court

Marbury vs. Madison

Year of the case: 1803

Summary of the case: What happened is Marbury sued Madison for not giving him the expected job. It was expected because Chef Justice John Marshall left his job. He moved to Chef Justice from Secretary of the State.

Constitutional principal: They got Judicial Review.

Significance: Chef Justice John Marshall made check and balance called Judicial Review.

Fletcher vs. Peck

The case of Fletcher vs. Peck happened in the year of 1810. It was the first case in which the supreme court ruled a state law unconstitutional. This case and the decisions also helped create a growing precedent for the sanctity of legal contracts and hinted that Native Americans did not hold a title to "their" land.

Martin vs. Hunter's Lesse

Year of the case: 1816

Summary of the case: 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 Fairfax. The trial court found in favor of Martin and the court of appeals. The Supreme Court of the U.S reversed in favor of Martin, holding that the treaty with England superseded the state statute, and remanded the case to the Virginia court of appeals to enter judgment for Martin.

Constitutional principal: The U.S. Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over state court decisions involving federal law.


Significance: The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over state court decisions involving federal law.

Cohens vs. Virginia

Year of the case: 1829

Summary of the case: 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.

Constitutional principal: The Court held that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to review state criminal proceedings.

Significance: Court held that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to review state criminal proceedings.

Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

The Dartmouth College vs Woodward case had been trialed in the year of 1819. The case happened when the president of Dartmouth College was removed from office by it's trustees, leading to the New Hampshire legislature attempting to force the college to become a public institution and as a result of this, gave the ability to appoint trustees in the hands of the governor.


McCulloch vs. Maryland

The McCulloch vs Maryland case was started in 1819. The state of Maryland attempted to prevent the operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland.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 prevent valid constitutional exercises of power by the federal government.