Chief Justice John Marshall
John Marshall (September 24, 1755 – July 6, 1835) was a Virginia politician, U.S. secretary of state, and the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court (1801 – 1835). His influential opinions early in the Court’s history helped establish the judiciary as equal in power to the other branches of government.
Image courtesy of Library of Virginia
President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) succeeded John Adams as president (1801 – 1809). He was the main author of the Declaration of Independence and a leader in the Democratic-Republican Party, which believed strongly in limited government and individual rights.
President John Adams
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was a Founding Father, vice president, and the second president of the United States (1797 – 1801). He was a member of the Federalist Party, which believed in a strong central government. Adams considered naming John Marshall as chief justice of the Supreme Court to be one of his greatest legacies.
William Marbury was a successful businessman and a big supporter of the Federalist Party. On the day before he left office, President John Adams nominated Marbury to the newly created position of justice of the peace in the District of Columbia, a post that Marbury never got to fill.