Judicial Nationalism

Judicial Nationalism
The Marshall Court
How did the actions of the Marshall Court
contribute to the rise in nationalism in the
Role of the Supreme Court
• The Judiciary loosely defined in the
– Only the Supreme Court was named
– Congress held rights to make new courts
• Very little actually outlined
Weakness of the Judiciary
• Early Court Justices did not last
• None of the first three Chief Justices remained
in office long
– John Jay resigned to run for state governor
– John Rutledge denied confirmation
– Oliver Ellsworth lasted four years
• The Courts were the weak branch of the
Federal government
John Marshall
Marshall built the federal judiciary
Fleshed out the powers of the Courts
Lent it a sense of mystique
Brought the Courts an equal
status with the other
• Marshall was a brilliant, practiced lawyer
– Served in the Continental Army
– Served in the House of Representatives
– Served as Secretary of State under Adams
• Keen, analytical mind
• Virginia Federalist
Reshaped the Court
• Promoted a collegial approach to cases
• Sought unanimous decisions when possible
• Pushed for single opinions when deciding a
case, rather than a decision from each justice
• Saw the Supreme Court as the final authority
on the Constitution
Used the Courts to tie the nation
• Stressed Supremacy of the Constitution
• Worked to define limits of states rights
• Strengthened federal authority