Supreme Court Milestones

  • John Jay, First Chief Justice/Jay's Treaty

    John Jay was appointed as the secretary of foriegn affairs after returning from negotiating peace with Great Britain in Paris. George Washington later offered him a position as Secretary of State, but Jay declined and was instead offered to be the first Chief Justice, which he accepted.
  • Creation of Supreme Court

    The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the supreme court. There was a Chief Justice, and five associate Justices, and they represented all thirteen of the judiaciary districts the the country was seperated into. They first met on Febuary 1st, 1790
  • John Marshall, Chief Justice

    John Marshall was appointed Chief Justice by adams. While in his position, he shaped the court's decisions and dramatically raised its stature. He defined the basic relationship of the judiciary to the rest of the federal government, and his actions as Chief Justice set the way the Supreme Court still continues to do things.
  • Marbury vs. Madison

    one of the most important decisions in U.S. judicial history, because it legitimized the ability of the Supreme Court to judge the consitutionality of acts of the president or Congress.
    Chief Justice Marshall's ruling interpreted the Constitution to mean that the Court had the right to review acts of Congress and actions of the President. If the Court found that a law was unconstitutional, it could overrule the law.
  • Fletcher vs. Peck

    John Peck had purchased land that had previously been sold under the 1795 act and later sold this land to Robert Fletcher who then sued Peck 1803, claiming that he did not have clear title to the land when he sold it. This was the first time where the supreme court ruled a state law unconstitutional.
  • Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

    This was a case dealing with the application of the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution to private corporations. The judgement of this case settled the nature of public versus private charters and resulted in the rise of the American business corporation.
  • McCollough vs. Maryland

    Maryland had attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by putting a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. They thought that because the Constitution did not specifically ay that the government was authorized to create a bank, the Bank of the United States was unconstitutional. The court then decided that congress did not have the power to create the bank.
  • Gibbons vs. Ogden

    Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce was granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
  • Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

    The Cherokee Nation wanted a federal injunction against laws passed by the state of Georgia taking away their rights within the states, however the Court determined that the framers of the Constitution did not really consider the Indian Tribes as foreign nations, so they did not have the power to sue.
  • Worcester vs. Georgia

    The supreme court said that non indians being prohibited to enter indian territory without a license from the state was unconstitutional. The court then ruled that the Cherokee Nation was a community in which the laws o georgia have no force. This case built the foundations of the doctrine of tribal sovereignty in the United States.
  • commonwealth vs. hunt

    In 1839, the Boston Journeymen Bootmakers' Society called a strike against all employers who hired non-union members. Some leaders of the society, including Mr. Hunt, were arrested and charged with conspiracy.Hunt's defense was that the union's organization and strike was not, in fact, against the law.
    Commonwealth v. Hunt legalized the existence of trade organizations
  • Dred Scott vs. Sanford

    Also known as the Dred Scott Decision, this case said that people of african descent brought into the united states were not protected by the constitution, and therefore were not citizens and never could be.