Known as The Great Chief Justice, John Marshall was instrumental in assuring America's acceptance of the judiciary as the third branch of government and establishing its power to strike down laws whose language is in conflict with the Constitution. As Chief Justice, John Marshall embodied the majesty of the Judicial Branch as fully as the President of the United States represents the power of the Executive Branch. Yet, to countless Americans, and those beyond our borders, he is largely unknown.

Before John Marshall became Chief Justice, he was a hero of the American Revolution, a skilled practitioner of the law, a respected member of the General Assembly of Virginia, an outstanding delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, a successful diplomatic envoy to France, a capable member of the Congress of the United States, and a distinguished Secretary of State in the cabinet of President John Adams. All this experience amply befitted him for the tremendous task that confronted him when he became Chief Justice in 1801.

At that time in history the Constitution of the United States did not enjoy the public reverence it is accorded today. Nor did the Supreme Court of the United States enjoy the public esteem in which it is now held. In thirty-four years as Chief Justice and through more than 1,000 opinions, John Marshall made the Constitution the supreme law of the land and his court the final, independent arbiter of that law. Through his words and under his leadership, the Supreme Court became a third and equal branch of our government. He gave the Constitution and the three-branch system of government it created the strength to endure for all time.

John Marshall Memorial Park Foundation
Founded to bring the legacy the "Great Chief Justice" to life through the creation of a National Memorial in Washington, DC.
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