John Marshall

Founding Father and Fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court


John Marshall served as the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, starting in 1801. His strong leadership brought the Supreme Court influence in government that it previously never held. Under him, the Judicial branch became equal in importance to the Executive and Legislative branches. Earlier in his career, Marshall also served in the House of Representatives and as the Secretary of State under President John Adams. Marshall was a lawyer by trade, who made his living by defending colonials from British creditors before the Revolution. A member of the Federalist party, his voice influenced leaders to replace the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution.

“The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their own will, and lives only by their will.”

”To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.”

”It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.”

”A legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law.”

John Marshall had fifteen siblings and was homeschooled by his father.


Marshall served 34 years, making him the longest serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to date.


Marshall initially declined the invitation to join the Supreme Court.


Marshall was known for being an honest man who led a very courteous court.


One of Marshall’s most famous cases in the Supreme Court is called ”Marbury v. Madison.”