Citations John Marshall

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„The acme of judicial distinction means the ability to look a lawyer straight in the eyes for two hours and not hear a damned word he says.“

—  John Marshall
Reportedly said to a young John Bannister Gibson, who later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, when Gibson remarked that Marshall had reached the acme of judicial distinction; in David Goldsmith Loth, Chief Justice: John Marshall and the Growth of the Republic (1949), p. 275. See also Albert J. Beveridge, "Life of John Marshall" (1919)

„No trace is to be found in the Constitution of an intention to create a dependence of the Government of the Union on those of the States, for the execution of the great powers assigned to it. Its means are adequate to its ends, and on those means alone was it expected to rely for the accomplishment of its ends. To impose on it the necessity of resorting to means which it cannot control, which another Government may furnish or withhold, would render its course precarious, the result of its measures uncertain, and create a dependence on other Governments which might disappoint its most important designs, and is incompatible with the language of the Constitution.“

—  John Marshall
Context: [.. ] it can scarcely be necessary to say that the existence of State banks can have no possible influence on the question. No trace is to be found in the Constitution of an intention to create a dependence of the Government of the Union on those of the States, for the execution of the great powers assigned to it. Its means are adequate to its ends, and on those means alone was it expected to rely for the accomplishment of its ends. To impose on it the necessity of resorting to means which it cannot control, which another Government may furnish or withhold, would render its course precarious, the result of its measures uncertain, and create a dependence on other Governments which might disappoint its most important designs, and is incompatible with the language of the Constitution. But were it otherwise, the choice of means implies a right to choose a national bank in preference to State banks, and Congress alone can make the election. After the most deliberate consideration, it is the unanimous and decided opinion of this Court that the act to incorporate the Bank of the United States is a law made in pursuance of the Constitution, and is a part of the supreme law of the land. 17 U.S. (4 Wheaton) 316, 424

„But all legislative powers appertain to sovereignty. The original power of giving the law on any subject whatever is a sovereign power […] All admit that the Government may legitimately punish any violation of its laws, and yet this is not among the enumerated powers of Congress. The right to enforce the observance of law by punishing its infraction might be denied with the more plausibility because it is expressly given in some cases. Congress is empowered "to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States," and "to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations." The several powers of Congress may exist in a very imperfect State, to be sure, but they may exist and be carried into execution, although no punishment should be inflicted, in cases where the right to punish is not expressly given. Take, for example, the power "to establish post-offices and post-roads." This power is executed by the single act of making the establishment. But from this has been inferred the power and duty of carrying the mail along the post road from one post office to another. And from this implied power has again been inferred the right to punish those who steal letters from the post office, or rob the mail. It may be said with some plausibility that the right to carry the mail, and to punish those who rob it, is not indispensably necessary to the establishment of a post office and post road. This right is indeed essential to the beneficial exercise of the power, but not indispensably necessary to its existence. So, of the punishment of the crimes of stealing or falsifying a record or process of a Court of the United States, or of perjury in such Court. To punish these offences is certainly conducive to the due administration of justice. But Courts may exist, and may decide the causes brought before them, though such crimes escape punishment. The baneful influence of this narrow construction on all the operations of the Government, and the absolute impracticability of maintaining it without rendering the Government incompetent to its great objects, might be illustrated by numerous examples drawn from the Constitution and from our laws. The good sense of the public has pronounced without hesitation that the power of punishment appertains to sovereignty, and may be exercised, whenever the sovereign has a right to act, as incidental to his Constitutional powers. It is a means for carrying into execution all sovereign powers, and may be used although not indispensably necessary. It is a right incidental to the power, and conducive to its beneficial exercise.“

—  John Marshall
17 U.S. (4 Wheaton) 316, 409 and 416-418. Regarding the Necessary and Proper Clause in context of the powers of Congress.

„We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution.“

—  John Marshall
Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. (6 Wheaton) 264, 387 (1821); with this sentence Marshall hold that the United States Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from a state court in a case between a state and its own citizens, even if the case involved interpretation of a federal statute.

„Seldom has a battle, in which greater numbers were not engaged, been so important in its consequences as that of Cowpens..“

—  John Marshall
The Life of George Washington : Commander in Chief of the American Forces, During the War Which Established the Independence of his Country, and First President of the United States. Second Edition, Revised and Corrected by the Author (1832), Vol. I, p. 401

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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