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Cohens v virginia

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  • Hello, my brother and I are selling DC lottery tickets would your husband be interested in one?
  • The Cohens Brothers were soon caught illegally selling lottery tickets. In 1821 the state claimed that they were guilty and that, that was it. They couldn't go any higher for their case.
  • What about the supreme court.
  • You are guilty, the state has made its decision there is no changing it.
  • Philip and Mendes Cohens decided to take their case to the supreme court, and the court did take the case but only because Virginia had told them they couldn't go up any higher on the judiciary scale. This case now also included federal jurisdiction.
  • After Listening to the case the Supreme court justices decided that the Cohens brothers were still guilty, but In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to review state criminal proceedings. Thus strengthening the national government.
  • Marshall's ruling was that the supreme court should have jurisdiction to review state criminal proceedings because, he knew the court was bound to hear all cases that involved constitutional questions. Marshall argued that state laws when repugnant to the Constitution and federal laws, were "absolutely void." After stating the Court's jurisdiction, Marshall declared the lottery ordinance a local matter and decided that the Virginia court was correct to fine the Cohens brothers for violating Virginia law.
  • So in the end the Cohens brothers were fined but because of that the Federal Governmant was able to expand their jurisdiction which was very important in that time of history due to the war of 1812, the tariff or 1816, and all of the high levels of patriotism especially with the writing of the star spangled banner.
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