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John Marshall
1755 - 1835

Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1801-1835), member of U.S. Congress (1799), U.S. Secretary of State (1800), author of many decisions which affirmed the supremacy of the Constitution in law


The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished, if limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed.

1803 - from Marbury vs Madison
That the power to tax involves the power to destroy ... is not to be denied.

1819 - from McCullough vs. Maryland