John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court

An Alpheus T. Mason Lecture on Constitutional Law and Political Thought: The Quest for Freedom

February 18, 2019
Poster for Brookhiser lecture on John Marshall

Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor, National Review

In 1801, John Marshall became the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, holding the post for a record 34 years. Before he joined the Supreme Court, it was the weakling of the federal government, lacking dignity and clout. After Marshall's tenure, the Court could never be ignored again. In this lecture, National Review senior editor Richard Brookhiser will discuss who John Marshall was, how he became the Chief Justice, and the Supreme Court he made, focusing on two of Marshall’s most important decisions, Fletcher v. Peck and Gibbons v. Ogden. Marshall transformed the Supreme Court into a pillar of American public life, making it a true equal in constitutional authority with the other branches of government.

Richard Brookhiser is a Senior Editor of National Review. His alternating column is called “City Desk” and “Country Life.” Mr. Brookhiser is the author of thirteen books, including John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court (2018), Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (2014), James Madison (2011), George Washington on Leadership (2008), and Alexander Hamilton, American (1999). A columnist for American History, he wrote and hosted the PBS documentaries Rediscovering George Washington and Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton by Michael Pack, and appears frequently on the History Channel and the Colbert Report. He curated “Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America,” an exhibition at the New York Historical Society in 2004. For twenty years (1987-2007) he wrote a column for the New York Observer. He has also free-lanced for many magazines including The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Commentary and Vanity Fair. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2008 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. He received his B.A. from Yale University.

Video:

John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court

Location:

McCormick Hall 101

Funded by:

The Bouton Law Lecture Fund

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