Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

“The power to tax is the power to destroy,” wrote John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, who was born this day, Sept. 24, 1755. No one had a greater impact on constitutional law in America, as he served on the bench 34 years and helped write over 1,000 decisions. He fought in the Revolution under Washington, enduring the terrible winter at Valley Forge. The nation felt a profound loss at his death. The Liberty Bell cracked while tolling at his funeral. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote: “It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity and did not often refer to it.”