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Posted: February 9th, 2023

Supreme Court Historical Society

This is the Supreme Court Historical Society. On this website, on the left menu (next to the picture of the current justices), click on History of the Court. It lists all of the different time periods since the original Jay Court (they are named after the sitting Chief Justice). Choose 5 of these Courts and for EACH Court, provide a summary, in a minimum of 150 words PER court, of the important events that occurred during each of the 5 Chief Justice’s tenure.

The Jay Court (1789-1795): The Jay Court was the first Supreme Court of the United States and was led by Chief Justice John Jay. During this time, the Court dealt with a number of important cases related to the interpretation of the Constitution. One notable case was Chisholm v. Georgia, in which the Court ruled that states could be sued by individuals in federal courts. This decision was later overturned by the Eleventh Amendment. The Jay Court also issued several important decisions related to the powers of the federal government, including Hylton v. United States, which upheld the constitutionality of the federal government’s power to tax.

The Marshall Court (1801-1835): The Marshall Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, is often considered one of the most influential in the history of the Supreme Court. During this time, the Court issued a number of important decisions that shaped the balance of power between the federal government and the states. One notable case was McCulloch v. Maryland, in which the Court ruled that the federal government had the power to charter a national bank, even if this power was not explicitly granted in the Constitution. The Marshall Court also issued several important decisions related to Native American rights, including Worcester v. Georgia, which ruled that the state of Georgia did not have the authority to regulate activities on Native American lands.

The Taney Court (1836-1864): The Taney Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, is best known for its controversial decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which the Court ruled that African Americans, whether free or slave, were not citizens and did not have the right to bring suit in federal court. This decision was widely criticized and played a significant role in the buildup to the Civil War. The Taney Court also issued several important decisions related to the powers of the federal government, including Gibbons v. Ogden, which upheld the federal government’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

The Waite Court (1874-1888): The Waite Court, led by Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, dealt with a number of important cases related to the rights of Native Americans and the power of the federal government. One notable case was Worcester v. Georgia, in which the Court ruled that the state of Georgia did not have the authority to regulate activities on Native American lands. The Waite Court also issued several important decisions related to the power of the federal government, including United States v. E. C. Knight, in which the Court upheld the federal government’s power to regulate the production and sale of goods that moved in interstate commerce.

The Warren Court (1953-1969): The Warren Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, is known for its activism and its emphasis on individual rights. During this time, the Court issued a number of important decisions related to civil rights, including Brown v. Board of Education, which declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. The Warren Court also issued several important decisions related to criminal procedure, including Miranda v. Arizona, which established the “Miranda rights” that must be read to suspects before they are questioned by the police.

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