Chief Justice John Marshall Silver Dollar

Commemorative Coin Programs

Background

The United States honored Chief Justice John Marshall with a commemorative coin in celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth. The Chief Justice John Marshall Silver Dollar not only paid tribute to the Supreme Court of the United States, but also recognized the entire judicial branch of government. This was the first time a United States coin (regular issue or commemorative) had featured a Supreme Court Justice or the Supreme Court as an institution.

On February 4, 1801, John Marshall was sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States. He was the fourth man to serve in that capacity after the Court was created in 1789, and he served 34 years as Chief Justice.

Under Marshall’s leadership, the English practice of each Justice writing his own opinion was replaced with the Court’s speaking with one majority voice, a practice that remains to the present day. Marshall wrote the Court’s opinion in 519 of the 1,106 cases decided during his tenure–almost half. He championed the primacy of the Court through his power of persuasion, congenial manner, and shrewd sense of policy.

In 1803, only two years after Marshall became Chief Justice, the Court announced its opinion in Marbury v. Madison, asserting that the judicial branch has the authority to judge the validity of an Act of Congress and to overturn the Act if it is not in conformity with the United States Constitution. This doctrine of judicial review has become a cardinal principle of U.S. constitutional law. Marshall also authored many landmark opinions establishing the supremacy of national law and the authority of the Constitution.

The Chief Justice John Marshall Silver Dollar was available in both proof and uncirculated condition and had a maximum mintage of 400,000 coins. Coins were minted and issued between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2005 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Chief Justice John Marshall.

These coins went on sale April 25, 2005.

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Recipient Organization: Supreme Court Historical Society

Surcharges from the sale of each coin were authorized to support the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Commemorative Coin Surcharges

Commemorative coin programs are created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place, or event. Surcharges from the sales of these coins help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public. Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law.

Characteristics

• CHIEF JUSTICE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT 1801-1835
• JOHN MARSHALL
• IN GOD WE TRUST
• LIBERTY
• 2005

Obverse Inscriptions

• E PLURIBUS UNUM
• ONE DOLLAR
• UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Mint and Mint Mark

Related Information

Content last reviewed June 1, 2016

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