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This Day at Law

John Marshall declared federal judicial supremacy over states

On February 20, 1809, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in United States v. Peters that the legal power of the federal judiciary is greater than that of any individual state: "If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery; and the nation is deprived of the means of enforcing its laws by the instrumentality of its own tribunals."

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