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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: John Marshall
Sculptor: William Wetmore Story
Location: Judiciary Square
( Constitution Ave. & 4th )
John Marshall (1755-1835) was the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Prior to his tenure, the position was not considered particularly prestigious (nothing in the Constitution requires that Supreme Court Justices be lawyers and the first Chief Justice, John Jay, resigned the position to become Governor of New York).
Under Marshall, the court became more powerful and prestigious. His opinions made the balance of power between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches clearer.
Marshall's opinion in the landmark case, Marbury v. Madison, made it clear that the Court can opine on the actions of a President and other opinions reinforced the contention that the Court has the right to strike down laws it believes to be contrary to the Constitution.
The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia acquired its crack while tolling at the death of John Marshall.
The statue was once located on the west front of the Capitol. Commissioned by the United States Bar Association, there is a second cast of the statue that was placed in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The sculptor was the son of Mr. Justice Joseph Story, a Supreme Court colleague of Marshall's.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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