Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Emmett M. Essin III

Committee Members

William Douglas Burgess Jr., Andrew L. Slap


The framers of the Constitution designed a document to be the "Supreme Law of the Land" and within its pages a branch of government, a federal judiciary, never before envisioned. The Constitution, along with the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789, set the framework for building the strongest branch of government, the Supreme Court. Historical events and court decisions with few exceptions strengthened the power of the judiciary contributing to its authority. The Supreme Court Justices, by interpreting the Constitution and judging the legality of laws instituted by both state and federal legislatures, solidified its superior position in the government hierarchy. An examination of documents, case decisions, and the results of these decisions for the nation add credence to the assertion that of the three branches of government the strongest and most powerful was and is the Supreme Court.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.