Dartmouth College Case


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Dartmouth College Case,

decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1819. The legislature of New Hampshire, in 1816, without the consent of the college trustees, amended the charter of 1769 to make Dartmouth College public. The trustees brought suit. Daniel Webster argued successfully that the amendment violated the Constitution because the state had impaired "the obligation of a contract." The opinion of the court, delivered by Chief Justice John Marshall, was that a charter was in effect inviolable. The decision made the contract clause of the Constitution a powerful instrument for the judicial protection of property rights against state abridgment. In 1837, Chief Justice TaneyTaney, Roger Brooke
, 1777–1864, American jurist, 5th chief justice of the United States (1836–64), b. Calvert co., Md., grad. Dickinson College, 1795. Early Life

Taney was born of a wealthy slave-owning family of tobacco farmers.
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, while not challenging the basic principle, ruled in the Charles River Bridge CaseCharles River Bridge Case,
decided in 1837 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Charles River Bridge Company had been granted (1785) a charter by the state of Massachusetts to operate a toll bridge.
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 that a legislative charter must be construed narrowly and a corporation could claim no implied rights beyond the specific terms of a grant.
References in periodicals archive ?
Just as the charitable education-related trusts of the Islamic East were steadfastly independent and generally free of intrusions from governmental entities, Makdisi shows through the outcome of the Dartmouth College case that so too were American colleges established through charitable trusts.
His most famous arguments occurred in the Dartmouth College case over a period of three days.
The critical episode with regard to separationism and contract law, however, is the Dartmouth College case of 1819, and this is the subject of the book's final chapter.
McGarvie concentrates on pre-Revolutionary struggles about disestablishment in the states of New York, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, with particular emphasis on the famous Dartmouth College case in the United States Supreme Court.

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