The Marshall Court (1801–35)


What Marshall Court decision did President Andrew Jackson openly defy?

The Marshall Court ruled 5–1 in Worcester v. Georgia (1831) that the state of Georgia could not punish Samuel Worcester, a congregational minister, for living on Cherokee lands. The state of Georgia had passed a law requiring any white person to secure a license before living on Cherokee land. The Court ruled that this law violated the sovereign authority of the Cherokee nation.

President Andrew Jackson reportedly said: “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.” Jackson instituted a policy of uprooting the Cherokee and forcing them west to a reservation. This travel was called the “Trail of Tears.”

President Andrew Jackson, above, disagreed with the Marshall Court’s ruling in Worcester v. Georgia, which favored the Cherokee Nation. Jackson eventually instituted a policy that forced the Cherokee to leave their land and move west in what became known as the “Trail of Tears.” Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

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