John Marshall was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835.
The Chief Justice is the presiding member of a supreme court in any of many countries with a justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Supreme Court of Singapore, the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong, the Supreme Court of Japan, the Supreme Court of India, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Supreme Court of Nepal, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Supreme Court of Ireland, the Supreme Court of New Zealand, the High Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of the United States, and provincial or state supreme courts.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.
John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court [POLICYbrief] by The Federalist Society
Marshall remains the longest-serving chief justice and fourth-longest serving justice in Supreme Court history, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential justices to ever sit on the Supreme Court.
Father of the Supreme Court | The Life & Times of John Marshall (ft. Mr. Beat!) by Jack Rackam
Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Marshall served as the United States Secretary of State under President John Adams.
The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America heading the U.S. Department of State, principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.
After the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he joined the Continental Army, serving in numerous battles.
The American Revolutionary War, also referred to as the American War of Independence and the Revolutionary War in the United States, was an armed conflict between Great Britain and thirteen of its North American colonies that after onset of the war declared independence as the United States of America.
The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America.
During the later stages of the war, he was admitted to the state bar and won election to the Virginia House of Delegates.
The Virginia House of Delegates is one of two parts in the Virginia General Assembly, the other being the Senate of Virginia.
Marshall favored the ratification of the United States Constitution, and he played a major role in Virginia's ratification of that document.
At the request of President Adams, Marshall traveled to France in 1797 to help bring an end to attacks on American shipping.
France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country consisting of territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories.
In what became known as the XYZ Affair, the government of France refused to open negotiations unless the United States agreed to pay bribes.
The XYZ Affair was a political and diplomatic episode in 1797-1798, early in the presidency of John Adams, involving a confrontation between the United States and Republican France that led to the Quasi-War.
After returning to the United States, Marshall won election to the United States House of Representatives and emerged as a leader of the Federalist Party in Congress.
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the Senate, composes the legislature of the United States.
The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world.
He was appointed secretary of state in 1800 after a cabinet shake-up, becoming an important figure in the Adams administration.
In 1801, Adams appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court.
Marshall quickly emerged as the key figure on the court, due in large part to his personal influence with the other justices.
Under his leadership, the court moved away from seriatim opinions, instead issuing a single majority opinion that elucidated a clear rule.
In law, seriatim indicates that a court is addressing multiple issues in a certain order, such as the order in which the issues were originally presented to the court.
The 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison presented the first major case heard by the Marshall Court.
In his opinion for the court, Marshall upheld the principle of judicial review, whereby courts could strike down federal and state laws if they conflicted with the Constitution.
Judicial review is a process under which executive and legislative actions are subject to review by the judiciary.
Marshall's holding avoided direct conflict with the executive branch, which was led by Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.
By establishing the principle of judicial review while avoiding an inter-branch confrontation, Marshall helped implement the principle of separation of powers and cement the position of the American judiciary as an independent and co-equal branch of government.
The separation of powers, often imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state.
After 1803, many of the major decisions issued by the Marshall Court confirmed the supremacy of the federal government and the federal Constitution over the states.
In Fletcher v. Peck and Dartmouth College v. Woodward, the court invalidated state actions because they violated the Contract Clause.
The Contract Clause appears in the United States Constitution, Article I, section 10, clause 1: