The Great Chief Justice

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Chief Justice John Marshall may be the one major legal figure both liberals and conservatives agree on.

He’s considered the person most responsible for defining our Constiutional democracy. During his 35-year tenure on the court, five presidents came and went, but Marshall remained, transforming the Court from a weak, fledgling body into a powerful, and independent third branch of government. Two hundred years later, his vision still guides our system of justice.

Marshall was a born leader, in Washington’s army during the Revolution, in the fight for ratification of the Constitution, and on the Supreme Court. Judicious, respected, convivial and charismatic, he’s less known in the current popular culture than other founding fathers, but his mark on our country’s history is indelible.
(Hosted by Nina Totenberg)


Professor Jean Edward Smith – John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and author of “John Marshall: Definer of a Nation.”