Constitution land

The virtual amusement park for people who love the US CONSTITUTION!

Big Cases

Would  you like to learn more about the biggest cases ever decided in the  history of the Supreme Court?  (Also known as, is it 3 a.m. and you have  a constitutional law test tomorrow and you're like my nephew and you  still haven't taken the plastic wrap off your text book?)

Well, head to  Starbucks™ and get a Venti or  drive to your local Dunkin' Donuts™  and get an extra large coffee (with an espresso shot) log off your  Facebook account, click on the case of your choice, below and read,  read, read:

The Marshall Years

Chief  Justice John Marshall put the Supreme in Supreme Court.  He wasn't the  first Chief Justice (John Jay and Oliver Ellsworth preceded him) but he  was the best.  When you think of Marshall think of that pizza place  slogan, "you've tried the rest now try the best."  He was the best. He was the pizza place that always serves fresh slices hot, no reheats. Marshall was the pizza place that serves regular and Sicilian slices and that's it! No Jamaican Beef Patties, no Buffalo Chicken Pizza or any of that garbage...sorry this is going on too long...

As for John Marshall, the man, his  "likes" included enhancing the importance, strength and weight of the  young federal government, particularly the Judiciary.  His "turn-offs"  included Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and remembering to deliver  judicial appointments (oops....sorry Mr. Marbury).  As a member of the  Federalist Party he also believed in a strong and active central  government and  his decisions promoted and encouraged that end.  He was  not afraid to assist the states in enhancing their power as well.   Remember his themes:    

1. The Constitution  is the Supreme Law of the Land...superior to all acts, proceedings, and  laws of the federal government and superior to all of the states.    

2. The federal government is superior to the states.    

3. The PEOPLE  are superior to ALL. That is why the Constitution is Supreme....through  the ratification process, it is the document of "we the people."    

4. The Supreme Court is the referee in all of these relationships and conflicts.    

John Marshall....the Babe Ruth of the Supreme Court.  

Marshall's Big Cases

1. Marbury v. Madison (1803): The  BIG DADDY of them all!  Empowers the Supreme Court , creates judicial  review, tells Jefferson to go to hell, and ensures the relevance of the  Federalist Party for the next thirty years.     

 2. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819):  Tells  the states "don't mess with the federal government." With the help of the necessary and proper clause enhances the powers of the legislative  branch. 


3. Gibbons v. Ogden (1824): Tells  the states, "I'm serious, don't mess with the federal government."   Uses the commerce clause to further the powers of the federal  government.