Supreme Court Milestones

  • Creation of the Supreme Court

    Creation of the Supreme Court
    Supreme Court created with ratification of the United States Constitution
    Significance: one of three branches of federal government
  • John Jay

    John Jay
    John Jay sworn in as Chief Justice of US Supreme Court
    Significance: First Chief Justice of US Supreme Court
  • John Marshall

    John Marshall
    Senate confirms that John Marshall has been appointed Chief Justice of US Supreme Court by President John Adams
    Significance: Cases began and he served as Chief Justice for 34 years, the longest tenure of any Chief Justice.
  • Marbury vs. Madison

    Marbury vs. Madison
    Supreme Court would have the say to what was constitutional and unconstitutional
    Signifcance: US Supreme Court established as a co-equal branch of government
  • Fletcher vs. Peck

    Fletcher vs. Peck
    Peck purchased land from Georgia but Georgia rescinded sale of land after Peck already sold it to Fletcher. Fletcher then went to court believing Peck was guilty of breach of contract
    Significance: Legislature could repeal or modify acts of a preceding legistature, but they could not invalidate a contract already made.
  • Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

    Dartmouth College vs. Woodward
    New Hampshire tried to invalidate Dartmouth's charter which would make the College go from a private to public institution.
    Significance: This was deemed unconstitutional because it did not follow the constitution. It was a contract which was also disputed in Fletcher vs. Peck. Dartmouth remained a private institution.
  • McCollough vs. Maryland

    McCollough vs. Maryland
    Maryland did not like the Second Bank of the United States and levied taxes against it. When McCollough refused to pay the tax he was fined. He took his fine to the Supreme Court. Maryland argued that the Bank was unconstitutional.
    Significance: Marshall ruled that the Court had power over the State and the Second Bank of the United States was constitutional.
  • Gibbons vs. Ogden

    Gibbons vs. Ogden
    Conflict between Aaron Ogden and Thomas Gibbons involving navigation of waters within the State of New York. New York granted permission to Ogden, while Congress granted Gibbons permission.
    Significance: State could not grant exclusive rights to navigate in its waters, because it was violating Congress' right to regulate interstate commerce under the constitution.
  • Worcester vs. Georgia

    Worcester vs. Georgia
    Samuel A. Worcester claimed that Georgia had no right to prosecute him for illegally living on Cherokee land because the state of Georgia had no right over sovereignty of Cherokee land. This act was deemed unconstitutinal and Worcester was released from prison.
  • Dred Scott vs. Sandford

    Dred Scott vs. Sandford
    Dred Scott, after living in missouri for a number of years, moved north above the missouri compromise line. He sued for his freedom after he moved there because all of the northern states were considered free states. Dred Scott was not granted his freedom. Roger B. Taney declared that all blacks, whether slave or free, could never become a citizen of the United States. He declared the missouri compromise as unconstitutional.