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Answered 2012-01-13 00:30:09

Andrew Jackson never said those words.

The quote is a romanticized myth arising from the ruling in Worcester v. Georgia, 31 US 515 (1832), in which the Supreme Court, under the leadership of John Marshall, declared Native Americans had a right to federal protection against enforcement of unconstitutional state laws.

President Jackson never said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" In Paul Boller's book, They Never Said It: A Book of False Quotes, Misquotes, & False Attributions, historian Robert V. Remini explains Jackson wrote in a letter to John Coffee, "...the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate," meaning the Court's opinion was moot because it had no power to enforce its edict (not being a legislative body).

In fact, Georgia did obey the Supreme Court's only substantive ruling, which ordered the release from jail of missionaries who had lived on Native American land without buying a required state license. Since Georgia complied, there was nothing to enforce.

President Jackson and Congress opposed the Court's developing support of Native American rights, which they later demonstrated by seizing Native American land and displacing its inhabitants in the "Trail of Tears" tragedy.

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sumarized: Andrew Jackson's infamous quote about John Marshall was in reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in Worcester v. Georgia. In this 1832 case, John Marshall and the Supreme Court ruled that Georgia could not impose its laws on Cherokee triballands.

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