• How did Chief Justice John Marshall manage to make the Supreme Court a viable, powerful branch of government?
The most common answer to this question is that John Marshall affirmed the right of judicial review over Congressional legislation; however, the Chief Justice contributed much more to the Judicial branch and the federal government, in general. [
John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the United States (1801-1835), was arguably the most influential person in the history of the judiciary. A
brilliant jurist with a genial personality, Marshall used both traits to position the Judiciary as a co-equal branch of the US government and to prevent states from eroding federal power after the Eleventh Amendment was ratified.
Eliminated the Supreme Court tradition of issuing per seriatim opinions in favor of issuing a single, unified opinion of the Court.
Affirmed the right of judicial review in his opinion for Marbury v. Madison, (1803)
Employed the strategy of granting a narrowly defined win to the more powerful party that had far-reaching implications not obvious on the surface
Exercised judicial activism supported by intricate legal theories that Thomas Jefferson called "twistifications."
Advanced the doctrine of implied powers
Invoked the Article I Necessary and Proper Clause
Asserted the Article VI Supremacy Clause, elevating the authority of federal law over state law
Discouraged states from defying the federal government's authority by holding the Eleventh Amendment by asserting the federal courts' appellate jurisdiction over state cases involving federal question jurisdiction
Subordinated common law rule (laws based on court decisions) to statutory law
Advanced the "complete diversity" principle that made it difficult for corporate shareholders to sue each other in federal courts
Restrained the States from violating the terms of charters
Upheld Congress's right to regulate laws affecting interstate business under the Interstate Commerce Clause (Gibbons v. Ogden, (1824))
Resolved issues of state sovereignty vs. ]
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