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Leadership in Justice

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President's Message

What is it that makes us trust our judges?
Their independence in office and
manner of appointment.

-- John Marshall

This quote is noteworthy given the fact that it predates John Marshall’s appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by thirteen years.  Marshall was commenting in his capacity as a delegate to the Virginia convention tasked in 1788 to consider ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  There was, at that time, considerable skepticism in the Commonwealth regarding the wisdom of creating courts with federal jurisdiction. 

After declining an appointment to the Supreme Court in 1798, Marshall was eventually appointed Chief Justice in 1801 by President John Adams.  He would go on to serve until 1835 during the administrations of six presidents:  Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J.Q. Adams and Jackson.  Marshall was the longest serving Chief Justice and the last born in colonial America.  During his tenure, he authored the opinion in Marbury v. Madison and the majority opinion in McCulloch v. Maryland.

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