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Raised from humble beginnings John Marshall proved to be a powerful leader in US history through his pivotal rulings in the Supreme Court A staunch Federalist Marshall pushed for a strong federal government a scary and ill fated thought to many Americans The early 1800s was a period of vulnerability for the United States a fledgling country full of free spirits and high hopes It was crucial that the decisions of the founding fathers would lay essential groundwork to establish a strong federal government Marshall served as the Chief of Justice for over three decades and was a major player in laying down and developing the basis for the American legal system Marshalls rulings in Supreme Court have shaped Americas government for over two centuries Marbury v Madison 1803 was John Marshalls first important case The case itself is trivial however what resulted from the case has influenced the US government ever since For the first time in US history the Supreme Court struck down a law as unconstitutional As a result Marshall introduced judicial review a doctrine that allows the Supreme Court to examine the constitutionality of a law and decide whether to keep or discard it Firstly this was a major step in establishing what the role of the Supreme Court was in the US government Secondly by implementing judicial review into the American legal system Marshall increased the power of the judicial branch and restricted the executive and legislative branches powers This is one of the greatest rulings in political history because without judicial review the executive branch would be omnipotent and the fears of the first American people would have been realized Judicial review is still widely used by the Supreme Court it was a huge factor in resolving the Watergate Scandal The second major case McCulloch v Maryland 1819 declared the Bank of the United States constitutional It was
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