Chief Justice John Marshall Silver Dollar
On February 4, 1801, John Marshall became the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. During John Marshall’s 34 years as Chief Justice, the Supreme Court grew in strength and value.
In 1803, only two years after Marshall became Chief Justice, the Court gave its now-famous opinion on the case called Marbury versus Madison. This decision held that the judicial branch of the government has the right to overturn an act of Congress if the Court finds that the act does not agree with the U.S. Constitution. This principle, called “judicial review,” is still an important principle in Constitutional law.
Marshall was born on the Virginia frontier. He fought in the Revolutionary War before he became a successful lawyer and, later, was elected to the House of Representatives. President John Adams appointed him Secretary of State and then Chief Justice.
The United States Mint celebrated the 250th anniversary of Chief Justice John Marshall’s birth by creating a new commemorative coin. This coin not only pays tribute to Marshall and the Supreme Court of the United States, but to the entire judicial branch of our government. No coin has ever featured a Chief Justice or the Supreme Court itself.
No more than 400,000 of these coins were minted. Some of the charges from the sale of these coins support the Supreme Court Historical Society.