John Marshall


John Marshall’s Court Rulings Essay, Research Paper

Hamilton was a federalist and served as the secretary of the treasury in the 1890s. He was a strong supporter of a centralized federal government. He also advocated loose interpretation of the u.s. constitution and the use of the elastic clause. Which was an ambiguous power of the federal government stating that ?congress can do what it is proper and necessary? john Marshall?s epitomizing of these Hamiltonian principals and philosophies can be seen in several of his court rulings. Such as, McCulloch vs. Maryland, Dartmouth college vs. Woodward, Gibbons vs. Ogden, and Cohens vs. Virginia.

In the case Mcculloch vs. Maryland in 1819, Maryland brought a suit against McCulloch and bands him for refusing to pay a tax on the federal bank. Marshall said, ? the power to tax implies the power to destroy.? Marshall?s ruling sanctified the federal government?s user of implied powers. His decision was in favor of the federal bank. It established the national supremacy over state governments. It also paved the way for vast expansion of federal power in the future.

In the case of Dartmouth college vs. Woodward in 1919 as well, Dartmouth was telling its case on how they had been chartered in 1769 as a private school to train missionaries and native Americans in new Hampshire. Republican members of the board of trustees sought to have the state legislature convert the school into a new state university. The state court supported contention that the state had the right to alter the schools charter. The courts ruling was in favor of the republican board members. Daniel Webster appealed to the Supreme Court and Marshall overturned the state courts decision. This set the precedent for the Gosceant contract. It also set a precedent for the supreme courts power to overturn the state courts decisions. Which again had strengthened the central governments.

In 1824 the Cohens were arrested for selling lottery tickets in Virginia. They then appealed to the Supreme Court. Marshall ruled in favor of the state. Marshall?s ruling strengthened the federal government by establishing the power of the Supreme Court to review all state court decisions.

The case of Gibbons vs. Ogden in 1824 dealt with Gibbons who wanted to run a steamboat company in New York and he sued Ogden. Ogden had the state given monopoly of the New York waterways. Article 1 of the constitution grants the regulation of interstate commerce to congress. New York?s giving of a monopoly conflicted with the federal coasting act. That act required all vessels on navigational, coastal an interstate waterways that you have a federal license there fore the monopoly was void. This ruling strengthened the federal government with the power to regulate interstate commerce.

It is easy to see on how the Supreme Court with john Marshall epitomized Hamiltonian principles and philosophies due to his rulings in court. If not for Marshall?s rulings it could be easy to say that our federal government would have fallen apart.

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