Gibson, John Bannister

Gibson, John Bannister,

1780–1853, American jurist, b. Westover Mills, Pa.; nephew of the American frontiersman John GibsonGibson, John,
1740–1822, American frontiersman, b. Lancaster, Pa. After taking part in the capture (1758) of Fort Duquesne (renamed Fort Pitt) in the French and Indian War, he became a trader with the Native Americans there.
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. He studied law, was unsuccessful in practice, and served (1810–12) with distinction in the state legislature before being appointed judge. In 1816, he became an associate justice and in 1827 the chief justice of the Pennsylvania supreme court. His diligent study made him an authority on the common law, and his many forceful, well-worded decisions, based on principles rather than precedents, showed great ability to adapt the law to a particular society and did much to mold Pennsylvania law. In Eakin v. Raub (1825) he offered a vigorous and influential dissent to the defense of judicial review in Marbury v. MadisonMarbury v. Madison,
case decided in 1803 by the U.S. Supreme Court. William Marbury had been commissioned justice of the peace in the District of Columbia by President John Adams in the "midnight appointments" at the very end of his administration.
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. His decisions were widely quoted by contemporaries in England and the United States.


See his memoirs (ed. by T. P. Roberts, 1890).

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