John Marshall (September 24, 1755 - July 6, 1835) was an American statesman and jurist who greatly influenced American constitutional law. Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, serving from February 4, 1801 until his death. He had previously served in a variety of political offices; most notably, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1799 to June 7, 1800, and Secretary of State from June 6, 1800 to March 4, 1801. Marshall was a native of the state of Virginia and a member of the Federalist Party.
(Note that the title "Chief Justice of the United States" is a modern version of the title, in official use since approximately the middle of the 19th century. At the time Marshall was Chief Justice, his official title would have been "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.")
The longest-serving Chief Justice in Supreme Court history, Marshall dominated the Court for over three decades, and played a significant role in the development of the American political system. Most notably, he established that the courts were entitled to exercise judicial review, or the power to strike down laws that violated the Constitution. Thus, Marshall has been credited with cementing the position of the judiciary as an independent and influential branch of government. Furthermore, Marshall made several important decisions relating to federalism, shaping the balance of power between the federal government and the states during the early years of the republic. In particular, he repeatedly confirmed the supremacy of federal law over state law, and supported an expansive reading of the enumerated powers.