As president, Jackson emphasized executive power and democracy (at least for white men) and rejected the idea that the Supreme Court has the exclusive authority to decide questions of constitutionality. The six justices he appointed dominated the Court for decades after he himself left office.
The son of Irish immigrant families, Jackson read enough law to be admitted to the North Carolina bar in 1787, and after moving to Nashville, Tennessee, he was appointed prosecuting attorney in 1788. He was a delegate to the convention that drafted the Tennessee state constitution and served on the state’s supreme court from 1798 to 1804. However, he was a proud man with a volatile temper and got involved in several duels, including one in which he was wounded. He gained national fame in fighting against the British and Creeks in the War of 1812. As a commander, Jackson often demonstrated little patience for judicial power and principles of due process. After the battle of New Orleans, for example, he arrested a citizen for criticizing his continuation of martial law, and when a federal judge issued a writ of habeas corpus for the citizen, Jackson ordered the arrest of the judge.
During his two terms as president, Jackson appointed six justices to the Supreme Court. Five were associate justices: John McLean,
With his belief in majority rule, Jackson denied that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter on the meaning of the Constitution. He sometimes placed his own judgment, as president, above that of the other two branches of government. He was generally opposed to federal funding of internal improvements. When he vetoed a project called the Maysville Road Bill, he argued that the bill was unconstitutional because of its “purely local character.” When he vetoed the extension of the Bank of the United States in 1832, he rejected the binding authority of McCulloch v. Maryland
Jackson’s most direct disagreement with John Marshall’s court occurred in the case of Worcester v. Georgia
Cole, Donald. The Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993. Remini, Robert. The Legacy of Andrew Jackson. Baton Rouge: Louisiana States University Press, 1988. Watson, Harry L. Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America. New York: Hill and Wang, 1990.
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
McCulloch v. Maryland
Native American sovereignty
Nominations to the Court
Taney, Roger Brooke
Worcester v. Georgia