John Marshall

(John James Marshall)

John Marshall
John Marshall
  • Born: September 24, 1755
  • Died: July 6, 1835
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Judge

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John James Marshall was an American politician who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835. Marshall remains the longest-serving chief justice in Supreme Court history, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential justices to ever sit on the Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Marshall served as the United States Secretary of State under President John Adams.

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
[Out government] is the government of all; its powers are delegated by all; it represents all, and acts for all. Intergovernmental Relations
[The U. S.] government possesses the power of acquiring territory, either by conquest or by treaty. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
A constitution cannot possibly enumerate the means by which the powers of government are to be carried into execution. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
A constitution is framed for ages to come, and is designed to approach immortality as nearly as human institutions can approach it. Its course cannot always he tranquil. It is exposed to storms and tempests, and its framers must be unwise statesmen indeed if they have not provided it, so far as its nature will permit, with the means of self preservation from the perils it may be destined to encounter. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it, either expressly or as incidental to its very existence Regulation & Deregulation
A defenseless country cannot be secure. Defense & National Security
A people once numerous, powerful, and truly independent, found by our ancestors in the quiet and uncontrolled possession of an ample domain, gradually sinking beneath our superior policy, our arts, and our arms, have yielded their lands by successive treaties, each of which contains a solemn guarantee of the residue, until they retain no more of their formerly extensive territory than is deemed necessary for their comfortable subsistence. Minorities & Women
All who wish peace ought to unite in the means which may facilitate its attainment. War & Peace
An act of the legislature, repugnant to the Constitution, is void. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
An opinion which is . . . to establish a principle never before recognized, should be expressed in plain and explicit terms. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they in tend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
At the time the Constitution was framed, the idea of appealing to an American court of justice for an assertion of right or a redress of wrong had perhaps never entered the mind of an Indian or of his tribe. Their appeal was to the tomahawk, or to the Government. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Conquest gives a title which the courts of the conqueror cannot deny. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Georgia is a part of a large empire; she is a member of the American Union. That Union has a Constitution which imposes limits on the legislatures of the several states. Corruption
I yield . . . to the conviction that our Constitution cannot last. The Union has been prolonged thus far by miracles . . . they cannot continue. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
If Congress were to go beyond the delegated powers . . . if they were to make a law not warranted by the powers enumerated, it would be considered by the judges as an infringement of the Constitution . . . They would declare it void Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
If there be any who deny its [the Constitutions's] necessity, none can deny its authority. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
In all the nations of the earth, where presses are known, some correction of licentiousness has been indispensable. Media, Journalism & The Press
Individuals do not derive from government their right to contract, but bring that right with them into society.... every man retains the right to acquire property, to dispose of that property according to his own judgment, and to pledge himself for a future act. Citizenship & Patriotism
It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Miscellaneous
Only its [the Constitution's] great outlines should be marked, its important objects designated, and the minor ingredients which compose those objects be deduced by the nature of the objects themselves. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
Ports not effectually blockaded by a force capable of completely investing them have yet been declared in a state of blockade. . . . If the effectiveness of the blockade be dispensed with, then every port of the belligerent powers may at all times be declared in that state, and the commerce of neutrals be thereby subjected to universal capture. But if this principle be strictly adhered to, the capacity to blockade will be limited by the naval force of the belligerent Intergovernmental Relations
Protection does not imply the destruction of the protected Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
So much of the several laws of the state of New York as prohibits vessels, licensed according to the laws of the United States, from navigating the waters of the state of New York, by means of fire or steam, is repugnant to the said Constitution and void…. the acts of New York must yield to the law of Congress Intergovernmental Relations
That the president of the United States may be subpoenaed, and examined as a witness, and required to produce any paper in his possession, is not controverted. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The [Federal] constitution and the laws thereof are supreme ... they control the constitution and laws of the respective states, and cannot be controlled by them. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
The difference between the departments undoubtedly is, that the legislature makes, the executive executes, and the judiciary construes the law. Intergovernmental Relations
The exercise of the appellate power over those judgments of the state tribunals which may contravene the Constitution or laws of the United States is, we believe, essential … Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The framers of our Constitution foresaw this state of things and provided for it by declaring the supremacy not only of itself but of the laws made in pursuance of it. The nullity of any act inconsistent with the Constitution is produced by the declaration that the Constitution is supreme law. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
The government of the Union, then, ... is, emphatically, and truly, a government of the people. In form and in substance it emanates from them. Its powers are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on them, and for their benefit. Power
The government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action. Intergovernmental Relations
The Indians are acknowledged to have an unquestionable … right to the lands they occupy. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The judicial power of every well-constituted government must be coextensive with the legislative, and must be capable of deciding every judicial question which grows out of the Constitution and laws. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The legislature makes, the executive executes, and the judiciary construes the law. Intergovernmental Relations
The legislature makes, the executive executes, and the judiciary construes the law; but the maker of the law may commit something to the discretion of the other departments, and the precise boundary of this power is a subject of delicate and difficult inquiry. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The line has not been exactly drawn which separates those important subjects, which must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself, from those of less interest, in which … power may be given to those who are to act under such general provisions to fill up the details. Management & Managing Government
The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will.
The power to regulate commerce does not look to the principle by which boats were moved. That power was left to individual discretion. The act demonstrates the opinion of Congress that steamboats may be enrolled and licensed in common with vessels using sails. They are, of course, entitled to the same privileges and can no more be restrained from navigating waters and entering ports, which are free to such vessels, than if they were wafted on their voyage by the winds instead of being propelled by the agency of fire. The one element may be as legitimately used as the other, for every commercial purpose authorized by the laws of the river, and the act of a State inhibiting the use of either to any vessel, having a license under the act of Congress, comes, we think, in direct collision with that act. The acts of the Legislature of the State of New York, granting to Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton the exclusive navigation of all the waters within the jurisdiction of that State, with boats moved by fire or steam, for a term of years, are repugnant to that clause of the constitution of the United States, which authorizes Congress to regulate commerce, so far as the said acts prohibit vessels licensed, according to the laws of the United States, for carrying on the coasting trade, from navigating the said waters by means of fire or steam. Transportation
The power to tax is the power to destroy. Power ;Taxes
The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The very essence of civil liberty, is the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The wisdom and discretion of Congress . . . are the restraints on which the people must often rely solely, in all representative governments Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The word to regulate implies in its nature full power over the thing to be regulated, it excludes, necessarily, the action of all others that would perform the same operation on the same thing. Regulation & Deregulation
There are men who will hold power by any means rather than not hold it; and who would prefer a dissolution of the union to a continuance of an administration not of their own party. They will risk all ills ... rather than permit that happiness which is dispensed by other hands than their own. Power
This [the Constitution] is the authoritative language of the American people; and, if gentlemen please, of the American States. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
Though the Indians are acknowledged to have an unquestionable, and heretofore unquestioned right to the lands they occupy … it may well be doubted whether those tribes which reside within the acknowledged boundaries of the United States can, with strict accuracy, be denominated foreign nations….They occupy a territory to which we assert a title independent of their will… they are in a state of pupilage. Their relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian. They look to our government for protection; rely upon its kindness and its power; appeal to it for relief to their wants; and address the President as their Great Father. They and their country are considered by foreign nations, as well as by ourselves, as being so completely under the sovereignty and dominion of the United States that any attempt to acquire their lands, or to form a political connection with them, would be considered by all as an invasion of our territory and an act of hostility. Minorities & Women
Throughout this vast republic from the St. Croix to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, revenue is to be collected and expended; armies are to be marched and supported. The exigencies of the nation may require that the treasure raised in the north should be transported to the South. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
To have prescribed the means by which government should, in all future times, execute its powers would … have been an unwise attempt to provide, by immutable rules, for exigencies which, can best be provided for as they occur. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
To leave Indian tribes in possession of their country is to leave the country a wilderness. Discrimination & Prejudice
To obtain a just compromise, concession must not only be mutual--it must be equal also....There can be no hope that either will yield more than it gets in return. Negotiating & Negotiations
To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing; if those limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? If the Constitution is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it, . . . then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its nature illimitable Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding ... a constitution intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adopted to the various crises of human affairs. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
What are the maxims of democracy?... A strict observance of justice and public faith, and a steady adherence to virtue. Democracies & Republics
What do gentlemen mean by a strict construction? If they contend only against that enlarged construction which would extend words beyond their natural and obvious import, we might question the application of the term, but should not controvert the principle. If they contend for that narrow construction which, in support of some theory not to be found in the Constitution, would deny to the government those powers which the words of the grant, as usually understood, import, and which are consistent with the general views and objects of the instrument; for that narrow construction, which would cripple the government, and render it unequal to the objects for which it is declared to be instituted, and to which the powers given, as fairly understood, render it competent; then we cannot perceive the propriety of this strict construction, nor adopt it as the rule by which the Constitution is to be expounded. As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they in tend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
During intervals of humanity, some disposition has been manifested to permit the return of those who have never offended, who have been banished by a terror which the government itself has reprobated, & to permit in case of arrestation, an investigation of the fact of emigration as well as of the identity of the person accus'd. Government
I have always believed that national character... depends more on the female part of society than is generally imagined. Precepts from the lips of a beloved mother... sink deep in the heart, and make an impression which is seldom entirely effaced. Society
I was born on the 24th of September 1755 in the county of Fauquier, at that time one of the frontier counties of Virginia. My father possessed scarcely any fortune and had received a very limited education - but was a man to whom nature had been bountiful, and who had assiduously improved her gifts. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time ;Nature
If the agency of the mother in forming the character of her children is, in truth, so considerable, as I think it - if she does so much toward making her son what she would wish him to be - how essential is it that she should be fitted for the beneficial performance of these important duties. Truth
My father superintended the English part of my education, and to his care I am indebted for anything valuable which I may have acquired in my youth. He was my only intelligent companion, and was both a watchful parent and an affectionate friend. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Paris presents one incessant round of amusement & dissipation but very little, I believe - even for its inhabitants of that society - which interests the heart. Every day, you may see something new, magnificent & beautiful; every night, you may see a spectacle which astonishes & enchants the imagination. Society
The constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it.
The constitution is either a superior paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it. It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. This is the very essence of judicial duty.
The events of my life are too unimportant, and have too little interest for any person not of my immediate family, to render them worth communicating or preserving. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
The French Revolution will be found to have had great influence on the strength of parties, and on the subsequent political transactions of the United States.
The government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action, and its laws, when made in pursuance of the constitution, form the supreme law of the land. Government
The most lively fancy aided by the strongest description cannot equal the reality of the opera.
The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection. Government
To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.
What is it that makes us trust our judges? Their independence in office and manner of appointment. Trust
When a law is in its nature a contract, when absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot divest those rights. Nature
When a law is in its nature a contract, when absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot divest those rights. The people can act only by their agents and, within the powers conferred upon them, their acts must be considered as the acts of the people. Nature

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