Court Case: Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

1 January 2018

John Marshall believed the united States needed a strong national government. In your essay describe three specific events in John Marshal’s life and explain why those episodes convinced him that the United States needed a strong national government. In the second part of your essay describe the significant issues of three specific decisions by the Marshall Court and then explain how each case strengthened the national government? Court Cases: Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) by forbidding the state legislature to alter the college charter, established the principle that charters were contracts which could not be impaired.Barron V Baltimore: Facts of the Case In 1 816, the New Hampshire legislature attempted to change Dartmouth College– a privately funded institution-?into a state university.

The legislature changed the school ‘s corporate charter by transferring the control of trustee appointments to the governor. In an attempt to regain authority over the resources of Dartmouth College, the old trustees filed suit against William H. Woodward, who sided with the new appointees. Question Did the New Hampshire legislature unconstitutionally interfere with Dartmouth College’s rights under the Contract Clause?Conclusion Decision: 5 votes for Dartmouth College, 1 vote(s) against Legal provision: US Cons. Art 1, Section 10 In a 6;to-1 decision, the Court held that the College’s corporate charter qualified as a contract between private parties, with which the legislature could not interfere. The fact that the government had commissioned the charter did not transform the school into a civil institution. Chief Justice Marshal’s opinion emphasized that the term “contract” referred to transactions involving individual property rights, not to “the political relations between the government and its citizens.

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The Supreme Court decided that the Bill of Rights, specifically the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that government takings of private property for public use require just compensation, are restrictions on the federal government alone. Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice John Marshall held that the first ten “amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the State governments. This court cannot so apply them. ” Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U. S. 243, 250.

To demonstrate that Constitutional limits did not apply to States unless expressly stated,Marshall used the example of Article l, Sections 9 and 10: The third clause (of Section 9), for example, declares that “no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed. ” No language can be more general; yet the demonstration is complete that it applies solely to the government of the United States… The succeeding section, the avowed purpose of which is to restrain state legislation…

Declares that “no state shall pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law. ” This provision, then, of the ninth section, however comprehensive its language, contains no restriction on state legislation.The case was particularly important in terms of American government because it stated that the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights did not restrict the state governments. Later Supreme Court rulings would reaffirm this ruling of Barron, most notably United States v. Cruickshank, 92 U. S. 542 (1876).

However, beginning in the early 20th century, the Supreme Court has used the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (interpreted, however, to have the same meaning as the 5th amendment) to apply most of the Bill of Rights to the states through the process and doctrine of selective incorporation.Therefore, as to most, but not all, provisions of the Bill of Rights, Barron and its progeny have been circumvented, if not actually overruled. Mortuary. Madison Mammary v. Madison (1803) was the first important case before Marshal’s Court. In that case, the Supreme Court invalidated a provision of the Judiciary Act of 1 789 on the grounds that it violated the Constitution by attempting to expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Aneurysms the first and only case in which the Marshall Court ruled an act of Congress unconstitutional, and thereby reinforced the doctrine of judicial review.

Thus, although the Court indicated that the Jefferson administration was violating another law, the Court said it could not do anything about it due to its own lack of jurisdiction. President Thomas Jefferson took the position that the Court could not give him a mandamus (I. E. An order) even if the Court had jurisdiction: ” In the case of Mammary and Madison, the federal judges declared that commissions, signed and sealed by the President, were valid, although not delivered.I deemed delivery essential to complete a deed, which, as long as it remains in the hands of the party, is as yet no deed, it is in Jose only, but not in sees, and I withheld delivery of the commissions. They cannot issue a mandamus to the President or legislature, or to any of their officers. [46] I ” I More generally, Jefferson lamented that allowing the Constitution to mean whatever the Court says it means would make the Constitution “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they Because Mammary v.

Madison decided that a jurisdictional statute passed by Congress was unconstitutional, that was technically a victory for the Jefferson administration (so it could not easily complain). Ironically what was unconstitutional was Congress’ granting a certain power to the Supreme Court itself. The case allowed Marshall to proclaim the doctrine of judicial review, which reserves to the Supreme Court final authority to judge whether or not actions of the president or of the congress are within the powers granted to them by the Constitution.The Constitution itself is the supreme law, and when the Court believes that a specific law or action is in violation of it, the Court must uphold the Constitution and set aside that other law or action, assuming that a party has standing to properly invoke the Court’s jurisdiction. Chief Justice Marshall famously put the matter this way: ” I It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule.If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each.

” I The Constitution does not explicitly give judicial review to the Court, and Jefferson was very angry with Marshal’s position, for he wanted the President to decide whether his acts ere constitutional or not. Historians mostly agree that the framers of the Constitution did plan for the Supreme Court to have some sort of judicial review; what Marshall did Was make operational their goals. 47] Judicial review was not new and Marshall himself mentioned it in the Virginia ratifying convention of 1788. Marshal’s opinion expressed and fixed in the American tradition and legal system a more basic theory-?government under law. That is, judicial review means a government in which no person (not even the President) and no institution (not even Congress or the Supreme Court itself), or even a majority of voters, may freely work their will in violation of the written Constitution.

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