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Eyes of my age,
Be religion your light;
Thoughts of my age,

Dread ye not the cold sod;
Hopes of my age,

Be ye fixed on your God.



JOHN MARSHALLL, third Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia. He served a soldier in the Revolution and then practised law in Ricnmond. With Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry, he was sent to Paris in 1797 to treat of public affairs; and it was on this occasion that Pinckney made the famous reply to the propositions of Talleyrand, "Millions for defence, not a cent for tribute."

He was chief-justice of the United States for thirty-five years, being appointed in 1800 and holding the position until his death. One of the most celebrated cases over which he presided was the trial of Aaron Burr, 1807, in which William Wirt led the prosecution, and Luther Martin and Burr himself, the defence. His services on the Supreme Bench were not only judicial but patriotic also, as his decisions on points of constitutional law, being broad, clear, strong, and statesman like, have done much to settle the foundations of our government.

He died in Philadelphia whither he had gone for medical treatment. A handsome sta of him by Story adorns the west grounds of the Capitol at Washington, and his is one of the six colossal bronze figures around the Washington Monument in Richmond. See Life, by Story, and by Magruder.

Life of Washington.
Supreme Court Decisions.


Writings on Federal Constitution, [selections by Justice Story].

"He was supremely fitted for high judicial station-a solid judgment, great reasoning powers, acute and penetrating mind; attentive, patient, laborious; grave on the bench, social in the intercourse of life; simple in his tastes, and inexorably just.”—Thomas Hart Benton, in "Thirty Years' View."

POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. From Case of Cohen vs. State of Virginia, given in Magruder's Life of Marshall.*)

It is authorized to decide all cases of every description arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States. From this general grant of jurisdiction no exception is made of those cases in which a State may be a party. When we consider the situation of the government of the Union and of a State in relation to each other, the nature of our Constitution, the subordination of the State governments to that Constitution, the great purpose for which jurisdiction over all cases arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States is confided to the judicial department, are we at liberty to insert in this general grant an exception of those cases in which a State may be a party? Will the spirit of the Constitution justify this attempt to control its words? We think it will not. We think a case arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States is cognizable in the courts of the Union, whoever may be the parties to that case. The laws must be executed by individuals acting within the several States. If these individuals may be exposed to penalties, and if the courts of the Union cannot correct the judgments by which these penal

*By permission of Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, of Boston, as also the following.

ties may be enforced, the course of government may be at any time arrested by the will of one of its members. member will possess a veto on the will of the whole.


That the United States form, for many and most important purposes, a single nation has not yet been denied. These States are constituent parts of the United States. They are members of one great empire, for some purposes sovereign, for some purposes subordinate. In a government so constituted is it unreasonable that the judicial power should be competent to give efficacy to the constitutional laws of the legislature? That department can decide on the validity of the Constitution or law of a State, if it be repugnant to the Constitution or to a law of the United States. Is it unreasonable that it should also be empowered to decide on the judgment of a State tribunal enforcing such unconstitutional law? Is it so very unreasonable as to furnish a justification for controlling the words of the Constitution? We think not.


Advert, sir, to the duties of a judge. He has to pass between the government and the man whom that government is prosecuting; between the most powerful individual in the community and the poorest and most unpopular. It is of the last importance that, in the exercise of these duties he should observe the utmost fairness. Need I press the necessity of this? Does not every man feel that his own personal security and the security of his property depends on that fairness? The judicial department comes home, in its effects, to every man's fireside; it passes on his property, his reputation, his life, his all. Is it not to the last degree important that he should be rendered perfectly and completely independent, with nothing to influence or control

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