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The Marshall Court


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An introduction to the Marshall Court and the Federalist counter-revolution of 1801. John Marshall established a Federalist presence on the Supreme Court for nearly thirty five years after the Federalist Party was swept out of office in the Election of 1800. Marshall's most important cases (Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Gibbons v. Ogden) will be introduced here, as well.

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The Marshall Court

  1. 1. Revenge of theFederalists
  2. 2. Summarize the expansion of thepower of the national governmentas a result of Supreme Courtdecisions under Chief JusticeJohn Marshall, such as theestablishment of judicial review inMarbury v. Madison and theimpact of political partyaffiliation on the Court.
  3. 3. "I shall... by theestablishment ofrepublican principles...sink federalism into anabyss from which thereshall be no resurrection.”– Thomas Jefferson
  4. 4. After their devastatingdefeat in the Election of1800, “doomsday” wasquickly approaching forJohn Adams and theFederalist Party.
  5. 5. ELECTION SUCCESSOR’STERM1801In a “lame duck” session,the outgoing Congressmeets and passes lawsbefore the newly-electedmembers of Congress cantake their seats.
  6. 6. The judicial power of the UnitedStates, shall be vested in oneSupreme Court, and in such inferiorcourts as the Congress may fromtime to time ordain and establish.From Article III,Section 1
  7. 7. Sixteen new federalcircuit judgesThe “Midnight Judges” ActSixteen federal judgeswith life tenure wouldbe able to undermineJefferson and theRepublicans from thebench.
  8. 8. • Federalist• Secretary of State(Adams Administration)• Chief Justiceof the Supreme Court“Midnight” AppointmentJohn MarshallChief Justice
  9. 9. William Marbury(Midnight Judge)James Madison(Secretary of State)(1803)William Marbury(Midnight Judge)James Madison(Secretary of State)
  10. 10. William Marbury(Midnight Judge)James Madison(Secretary of State)(1803)
  11. 11. The judiciary, from thenature of its functions, willalways be the least dangerousto the political rights of theConstitution...From The Federalist No. 78
  12. 12. (1803)John MarshallChief JusticeMarshall’s Dilemma
  13. 13. John MarshallChief JusticeJudiciary Act of1789 isMarshall’s Decision(1803)
  14. 14. Marshall:The Supreme Courtcan declare laws to beunconstitutional.– (in this case, a federal lawpassed by Congress)John MarshallChief Justice
  15. 15. FederalismStrict / LooseConstruction?National Bank?Favored EconomicPursuit?Kentucky Resolution: Who interpretsthe Constitution?Marbury v. Madison:Jefferson(Republican)Marshall(Federalist)
  16. 16. Maryland had placed a tax on theBank of the United States. TheB.U.S. sued Maryland in protest.1819BUS vs. MarylandJohn MarshallChief Justice
  17. 17. The Marshall Court ruledin the Bank’s favor.THE DECISION:John MarshallChief JusticeSUPREMACY CLAUSEELASTIC CLAUSEFEDERALISMIMPLIED POWERS1819
  18. 18. “The power to taxinvolves the power todestroy.”John MarshallMcCulloch v. MarylandJohn MarshallChief Justice1819
  19. 19. COMMERCECLAUSEFEDERALISM1824John MarshallChief Justice
  20. 20. [The Congress shall havePower] To regulate Commercewith foreign Nations, andamong the several States...From Article I,Section 8
  21. 21. Gibbons(&Vanderbilt)
  22. 22. The Marshall Court:Using Marbury v. Madison,McCulloch v. Maryland, andGibbons v. Ogden as guides,determine whether Chief JusticeJohn Marshall would “Like” or“Dislike” the following items.NOTE: This exercise is based on the Facebooknews feed. At no point does the author assertthat the format is original. NOT INTENDED FORCOMMERCIAL USE
  23. 23. The Constitution The Congress shallhave Power…To make all Laws which shall benecessary and proper for carrying into Executionthe foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vestedby this Constitution in the Government of the UnitedStates, or in any Department or Officer thereof. (ArtI, Sec 8.18)1787 · Comment · Likelikes this.
  24. 24. Thomas Jefferson Resolved, That theseveral States composing, the United States ofAmerica… by a compact under the style and titleof a Constitution for the United States…constituted a general government for specialpurposes — delegated to that governmentcertain definite powers, reserving, each State toitself, the residuary mass of right to their ownself-government…1798 · Comment · Likedislikes this.
  25. 25. Alexander Hamilton Every powervested in a Government is in its naturesovereign… which are not precluded byrestrictions and exceptions specified in theconstitution, or not immoral, or not contraryto the essential ends of political society.23 Feb 1791 · Comment · Like this.
  26. 26. James Madison The powersdelegated by the proposed Constitutionto the federal government are few anddefined. Those which are to remain in theState governments are numerous andindefinite.1788 · Comment · Like this.
  27. 27. Alexander Hamilton A National Bankis an Institution of primary importance to theprosperous administration of the Finances, andwould be of the greatest utility in the operationsconnected with the support of the PublicCredit....1790 · Comment · Like this.