John Marshall – Biography, Career & Legacy

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John Marshall was the fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1801-35). In Marbury v. Madison (1803) and other landmark cases, Marshall asserted the Supreme Court’s authority to determine the constitutionality of the nation’s laws—a principle known as judicial review—and shaped the judicial branch into a powerful force in the U.S. government.

Early Life and Revolutionary War Service

Marshall was born on September 24, 1755 on the Virginia frontier, in what is now Fauquier County. He was the oldest of 15 children born to Thomas Marshall, a land surveyor who worked for the powerful Lord Fairfax and was later elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, and Mary Keith, a granddaughter of William Randolph, a key figure in the establishment of the Commonwealth of Virginia.



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