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Nomination of John Marshall as Chief Justice

John Adams1801

National Constitution Center

National Constitution Center

Two months before leaving office, John Adams submitted this nomination of John Marshall as chief justice. Adams first offered the position to John Jay, the nation’s first chief justice, but Jay declined. He believed the Supreme Court would never have the energy, weight, or dignity it deserved. Adams then nominated Marshall, a moderate Federalist whom the Senate confirmed a week later.

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  • Title: Nomination of John Marshall as Chief Justice
  • Creator: John Adams
  • Date Created: 1801
  • Original Source: U.S. National Archives
  • Rights: National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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