Supreme Court Milestones

Timeline created by 12lindauerj
In History
  • Creation of the Supreme Court

    Creation of the Supreme Court
    The Supreme Court was established under Article 3 of the Constitution. It was implemented under the Judiciary Act of 1789 and first convened on February 2nd of 1790. At that time there were only 6 justices.
  • John Jay

    John Jay
    New York native John Jay was the first Chief Justice of Supreme Court. He was appointed by George Washington and served until 1795. He was nominated as Chief Justice by John Adams but declined and instead served as New York's governor.
  • John Marshall

    John Marshall
    Marshall was appointed as Chief Justice under John Adams. He served for 34 years and created one of the most significant eras in the U.S. Supreme Court. He worked to establish the Supreme Court as the final interpreter of the Constitution.
  • Marbury v. Madison

    Marbury v. Madison
    William Marbury had been appointed by John Adams as the Justice of Peace in Washington D.C., but his commission was never delivered. He petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents. The Court's conclusion denied him the position and established judicial review. The Court held that the Judiciary Act of 1789, which Marbury partly based his claim, was unconstitutional.
  • Fletcher v. Peck

    Fletcher v. Peck
    In 1795 Georgia sold 35 million acres of land to 4 private companies. After the discovery these sales were made in exchange for bribes the transactions were voided. John Peck had bought some land and then sold it to Robert Fletcher in 1803. Fletcher attempted to sue Peck, and in a unanimous decision the Supreme Court ruled the state's repeal of the laws was unconstitutional.
  • Dartmouth College v. Woodward

    Dartmouth College v. Woodward
    The case arose when Dartmouth's president was deposed by its trustees. New Hampshire legislature attempted to force Dartmouth College to become a public institution. The Supreme Court upheld the original charter. This decision settled the nature of public versus private charters.
  • McColloch v. Maryland

    McColloch v. Maryland
    Maryland had hoped to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by passing an act that imposed taxes on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. SCOTUS ruled that the law was specifically targeted for the Second Bank of the United States. The Court then invoked the Necessary and Proper Clause.
  • Gibbons v. Ogden

    Gibbons v. Ogden
    Aaron Ogdens filed a complaint in the Court of Chancery of New York against Thomas Gibbons. Ogden held that he had purchased rights to operate steamboats in the waters between New York and New Jersey. New York had granted him a monopoly. Daniel Webster, Gibbons' lawyer, cited Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution that states Congress had the exclusive national power of regulating interstate commerce. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gibbons.
  • Worcester v. Georgia

    Worcester v. Georgia
    Georgia Law required all whites living in Indian territory obtain a state license. Seven missionaries refused to follow this command and in turn were sentenced to four years of hard labor. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in favor of Samuel Worcester, one of the missionaries, saying that Georgia's laws had no jurisdiciton in the Cherokee nation. The ruling ordered nothing but Worcester's freedom and the Cherokees were never party to the suit.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott v. Sandford
    This case determined that African American slaves were not protected by the Constitution and that they could never become U.S. citizens. This case also put forth that the U.S. Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories, since slaves were not citizens they could not sue, and as private property slaves could not be taken from their owner without due process.