Chief Justice John Marshall and the Course of American Constitutional History
39 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2000
This essay provides an overview of the Supreme Court judicial career of Chief Justice John Marshall and the far ranging influence of the nation’s fourth chief justice. Written as an extended introduction to a special symposium issue of The John Marshall Law Review, this essay attributes Marshall’s profound influence upon the development of American constitutional law to his instrumental conception of the Constitution and his judicial pragmatism. Through his highly effective judicial statesmanship, Marshall drew upon his instincts as a politician to steer the Court through the tumult of the early republic while forging the foundation of modern constitutional law.
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