The Jefferson Presidency
John Marshall in The Jefferson Presidency
John Marshall (1755-1835) was the third Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from 1801 until his death in 1835. Born in Virginia, he served in the Continental Army during the Revolution. After the war, he practiced law in Virginia. Marshall turned down George Washington's invitation to serve as his first Attorney General, but he took part in the so-called "XYZ" delegation to France in 1797-98, represented his Virginia district in the House of Representatives from 1799-1800, and briefly served as Secretary of State under John Adams from1800-01. John Adams named Marshall to the Supreme Court in the final months of his presidency.
Often labeled the "father" of the Supreme Court, Marshall made unparalleled contributions to the shaping of the Court and the clarification of its powers during his 34-year term. In Marbury v. Madison, Marshall's court asserted the power of judicial review. His court also established a broad understanding of Congress's powers to regulate commerce in Gibbon v. Ogden. And in McCulloch v. Maryland, the Court asserted a broad reading of Congress's implied powers under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.