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Rule of Law &
John Marshall


The John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics, founded in 1987 and located at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, preserves and honors John Marshall’s judicial legacy by engaging and educating the public about the rule of law at the crossroads of our Constitution, our classrooms, and our courts.

John Marshall is the longest-serving U.S. chief justice, leading the court for 34 years and shaping it into what it is today, coequal to the executive and legislative branches of government. Marshall’s body of work includes more than 1,000 decisions — more than 500 of which he authored — that consistently uphold the court’s authority to interpret the Constitution and the importance of a strong federal government to our nation’s health. The first of his great cases, Marbury v. Madison in 1803, established the U.S. Supreme Court’s right to expound constitutional law and exercise judicial review, empowering the Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional. Marbury still is working for the American people. Look for our new lesson plan built around Marbury’s role in the landmark Brown v. Board decision. Marshall’s most significant gift to the American people — the independent judiciary — is one we must work to ensure for future generations.

We invite you to join us at the Center! Read our digital brochure for a quick overview of our public history programs and partnerships, our civics education program, Justice in the Classroom, our new civics series, PopCiv, our impact, and ways to get involved.

October 2021 Event

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Working toward a more perfect union

A special invitation for JMC members: October 13, Noon to 1 p.m. (Eastern) McGuireWoods 2021 Supreme Court Preview. JMC Board Member and Co-Chair of McGuireWoods Appeals and Issues Group Matt Fitzgerald will moderate. Free to members, students, teachers, and military. Not a member? Join now!

Join Us At The Center digital brochure

Digital Brochure 2021

Impact: JMC By
The Numbers

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Appreciation Report 2018-2020

Civics students


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“American Statesman”