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From 1790 To 1857, The Supreme Court Emerged As The Most Powerful Branch Of Our Government.

1139 words - 5 pages

From 1790 to 1857, the Supreme Court emerged as the most powerful branch of our government.I agree with the above statement. The US Supreme Court started slowly as a branch of our government, but by 1857 it emerged as the most powerful branch. The Presidency and the Executive branch certainly can create things, implement new ideas and have a large impact on all the citizens' lives. The Congress as the legislative branch can establish or change laws, and declare war. These are both powerful branches. However, the Supreme Court places the great checks and balances on both the Executive and Legislative branches. The Supreme Court has the final say as to the appropriateness of the law, and the actions of the President. They imposed during this time period limits of power on the other branches.This paper will argue the Supreme Court from 1790 until 1857 emerged as the most powerful branch in several ways: some history of the early Supreme Court, the emergence of a strong super star, discussion of the landmark cases that illustrate their power, and end with a remarkable decision rendered by the Supreme Court in 1857.Article 3, section 1 of the United States Constitution called for a federal judiciary to be established. It was vague as to the power and details. The Senate passed the Senate Judiciary Act of 1789 which set it up. It called for 13 judicial districts. The Supreme Court was set up with one Chief Justice and five associate justices(1). Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They can only be removed by impeachment on grounds of bribery or high crimes. Only one in history has been removed. This alone shows you the power of the Supreme Court. Presidents and Senators come and go but a Chief Justice can impact the country for decades.President Washington appointed John Jay as the first Chief Justice. The court opened February 2, 1790 and met in New York. It later moved to Philadelphia and finally Washington D.C.(2) Under John Jay the court traveled around the country solving disputes. During his tenure the court was trying to organize and define itself. Alexander Hamilton called it the "least dangerous" of the branches.(3)John Adams appointed John Marshall as the Chief Justice in 1801. This appointment marked the turning point of the Supreme Court, and eventually moved it to a powerful status. John Marshall grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. He did not have extensive schooling. He was primarily home schooled and attended law lectures at the College of William and Mary. He did become a lawyer, and was well respected. He built a very strong law firm. His family was well respected. His father worked for George Washington and his mother was a relative of Thomas Jefferson.(4)It did not take John Marshall long to advance the Supreme Court's power. His first landmark decision was Marbury v. Madison in 1803. In his decision Marshall said: "If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the...

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