Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824

Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824

Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824
Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824 – Daniel Webster, pictured in this c. 1851 photograph, argued the case on behalf of Thomas Gibbons in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gibbons v. Ogden, Thomas Gibbons (1757–1826), Aaron Ogden (1756–1839), John Marshall (1755–1835)

Gibbons v. Ogden, a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1824 that established the idea that states cannot interfere with Congress’s jurisdiction to regulate trade by legislative action. In 1798, the state of New York promised to give Robert Fulton and his backer, Robert R. Livingston, a monopoly on steamboat navigation in state waters provided they produced a steamboat capable of moving upstream on the Hudson River at 4 miles (6.4 km) per hour.

In 1807, Fulton and Livingston fulfilled the grant’s conditions. Following that, Aaron Ogden bought the rights to operate steamboats between New York City and New Jersey from Fulton and Livingston. In 1819, Ogden filed a lawsuit against Thomas Gibbons, who was operating steamboats in the same waters without Fulton or Livingston’s permission. In the New York Court of Chancery, Ogden prevailed in 1820.

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The Supremacy of Federal Courts 1821

The Supremacy of Federal Courts 1821

The Supremacy of Federal Courts 1821
The Supremacy of Federal Courts 1821 – Chief Justice John Marshall—one of the most important figures in the history of the judiciary— depicted in an 1862 engraving by Alonzo Chappel.

Cohens v. Virginia, John Marshall (1755–1835)

In Cohens v. Virginia (1821), the United States Supreme Court confirmed its power to review any state court verdicts in situations arising under the federal Constitution or a federal statute.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 mandated that the Supreme Court review final judgments of any state’s highest court in cases “where the validity of a treaty or statute of the United States is called into question and the decision is against its validity” or “where the validity of a statute of any state is called into question on the ground that it is repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, and the decision is in favor of its validity.”

Fairfax’s Devisee v. Hunter’s Lessee (1813), a case concerning a property dispute, saw the Supreme Court overturn Virginia’s highest court and order it to file a judgment in favor of the party initially found against.

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The Supremacy of Federal Law 1819

The Supremacy of Federal Law 1819

The Supremacy of Federal Law 1819
The Supremacy of Federal Law 1819 – The Old Supreme Court Chamber, where Chief Justice John Marshall presided. The North Wing is pictured here in 1800.

McCulloch v. Maryland, John Marshall (1755–1835)

McCulloch v. Maryland – 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819)

RULE: A solid design of the Constitution must provide the national legislature the discretion to choose the ways by which the powers it confers are to be carried out, allowing that body to carry out the great responsibilities it has been entrusted with in the most advantageous way for the people.

All measures that are acceptable, that are clearly tailored to that purpose, that are not forbidden, but comply with the language and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.

FACTS: The state of Maryland sued McCulloch to recover fines imposed under a Maryland law that levied a levy on all banks in the state of Maryland that were not chartered by the Maryland legislature.

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The Superiority of Possession 1805

The Superiority of Possession 1805

The Superiority of Possession 1805
The Superiority of Possession 1805 – A Fox Hunt (c. 1735) by English painter John Wootton.

Pierson v. Post (1805), Popov v. Hayashi (2002)

PIERSON v. POST – 3 Cai. R. 175, 1805 N.Y. LEXIS 311

RULE: Pursuit alone does not confer property rights in feroe naturoe animals. As a result, no action will be taken against a guy who kills and takes a person who was being pursued by, and in the view of, the person who first discovered, started, chased, and was about to seize it.

FACTS: Lodowick Post was hunting a wild fox with his hounds when Pierson, seeing the fox was being pursued, shot and killed it. Plaintiff Post filed a trespass suit against defendant Pierson, and the trial court found in his favor. Plaintiff had no rights in the fox just because he was chasing it, according to the defendant.

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The Napoleonic Code 1804 – France

The Napoleonic Code 1804

The Napoleonic Code 1804 - France
The Napoleonic Code 1804 – France – Napoléon Crossing the Alps (1801) by Jacques-Louis David.

Napoléon Bonaparte (1769–1821)

After four years of deliberation and planning, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte enacts the “Napoleonic Code,” a new legal foundation for France.

The civil code was the first comprehensive collection of rules governing property, colonial affairs, the family, and individual rights in post-revolutionary France.

As the new dictator of France, General Napoleon Bonaparte began the difficult process of reforming the country’s old and confusing legal system in 1800. He formed a special committee, chaired by J.J. Cambaceres, that convened over 80 times to debate the revolutionary legal amendments, with Napoleon presiding over about half of the meetings. The Napoleonic Code was ultimately passed in March 1804.

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Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary

Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary

John Adams (1735–1826), William Marbury (1762–1835), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), James Madison (1751–1836), John Marshall (1755–1835)

Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary
Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary – John Vanderlyn painted this 1816 portrait of James Madison, President Jefferson’s secretary of State and the fourth president of the United States.

On February 24, 1803, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, rules in William Marbury v. James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States, confirming the legal principle of judicial review—the Supreme Court’s ability to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional—in the new nation.

The court found that the new president, Thomas Jefferson, was improper to block William Marbury from taking office as judge of the peace for Washington County in the District of Columbia through his secretary of state, James Madison. The court did, however, decide that it lacked jurisdiction in the case and that it could not compel Jefferson and Madison to seat Marbury. The Supreme Court was given jurisdiction by the Judiciary Act of 1789, but the Marshall court concluded that it was an unconstitutional expansion of judicial power into the executive branch.

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The Triple Assessment (Income Tax) 1798

The Triple Assessment (Income Tax) 1798

The Triple Assessment (Income Tax) 1798
The Triple Assessment (Income Tax) 1798 – An 1806 portrait of William Pitt the Younger, prime minister of Britain, who proposed legislation in 1798 to tax English citizens “upon all the leading branches of income,” which became the first income tax in history.

William Pitt the Younger (1759–1806)

In 1799, the Prime Minister of great Britain William Pitt enacted the first income tax, and he followed the pattern of the Window Tax by establishing a fiscal year that began on April 5th. [46] That meant a year that started on April 6th once more, and has remained thus ever since. Addington’s Income Tax Act of 1803, for example, remained to apply “from” 5 April—in this case, from 5 April 1803. [47] This was a year that began on April 6, 1803 and ended on April 6, 1804.

During a brief respite from the protracted war with France, the income tax was briefly removed in 1802. The statute that eliminated the tax included a clause that allowed tax debts from previous years to be collected. Pitt’s tax year ended on April 5th, according to this saving provision:

Provided, always, and be it enacted, that the said respective Rates and Duties…shall continue in force for the purpose of duly charging to the said Rates and Duties all Persons… who shall not have been respectively charged to the said Duties for the Year ending on the fifth Day of April 1802, or any prior year…

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