The Early Accomplishments Of John Marshall

2646 words - 11 pages

The Early Accomplishments of John Marshall

John Marshall began as a soldier who became part of George Washington?s command group. After John was discharged, he pursued his legal career with a formal education, which was quite casual at the time. He established a practice in Richmond and became very successful. Marshall was very casual yet received a reputation for being outstanding regardless of his messy look. In the late 1780?s, John was a successful member of the Richmond bar. He was known for his ability to handle cases on appeal and he was a lawyer?s lawyer. Lawyers called on him to argue their cases before high courts. He was a great interpreter of the U. S. Constitution and had a great ability to get to the heart of the issue. Marshall then went on to politics with the election in the House of Delegates in 1782 for Fauquier County and won. He later became a determined advocate for the adoption of the Constitution with the part he liked the most being the imposed restrictions on the states because without a central power there was no safe ground. Later President Adams needed a Chief Justice before his term was up to keep up the Federalist ways. Adams needed someone who was loyal, knew the law, with comparable youth and with a brilliant mind. Being Chief Justice required courage to stand against the personal and physical attacks of society in defense of what one considers morally proper. On January 27th, 1801 the Senate confirmed John Marshall?s nomination. He took his seat on February 4th, 1801 and would lead there for the next thirty-four years. This position and the Court were thought to be harmless but Marshall would later shape the Court into a respectable forum that would become a political battlefield. The first three cases John Marshall received were not of big significance at the time but the principles involved would build an independent judiciary. Although there are many cases that are more significant these first cases show the precedent he set. (1)

The federal judiciary was established as a significant institution in 1801. President John Adams was leaving the office involuntarily and feared the death of the Federalist Party. He thought he could keep it going in the court system by appointing John Marshall as Chief Justice of the United States and the Judiciary Act of 1801 was another part of his plan. The law relieved the Supreme Court Justices from riding circuit and holding court away from home for the older men. It created circuit judgeships, which would be filled by Federalists. The Chief Justice appointment and the Judiciary Act made the courts a great political battleground. The Supreme Court was the main target because it was not considered a significant institution and received little attention. As Chief Justice, John Jay felt his duties so light that he became American minister to the Court of St. James?s and then to campaign successfully for governor of New York. He did not consider a...

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