This is an engraving of Chief Justice John Marshall dated 1863 and held at the Library of Congress. Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the United States (1801–1835) whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches. He had been a leader of the Federalist Party in Virginia and served in the United States House of Representatives from 1799 to 1800. He was Secretary of State under President John Adams from 1800 to 1801. He reinforced the principle that federal courts are obligated to exercise judicial review, by disregarding purported laws if they violate the Constitution. Marshall cemented the position of the American judiciary as an independent and influential branch of government. He also made three key decisions regarding American Indian policy. These became known as the Marshall Trilogy and stem from three court cases, Johnson v. M'Intosh (1823), Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), and Worcester v. Georgia (1831). For more details see the Marshall Trilogy Reading and Activity in this section. Image Courtesy of Library of Congress.
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