Fletcher v. Peck

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Fletcher v. Peck (1910) was a U.S. Supreme Court decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall that strengthened the U.S. Constitution by invalidating a state law based on the prohibition that "[n]o state shall ... pass any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts ...." This was the first U.S. Supreme Court decision to invalidate state legislation as unconstitutional.

The Court wrote: "It is, then, the unanimous opinion of the court, that, in this case, the estate having passed into the hands of a purchaser for a valuable consideration, without notice, the state of Georgia was restrained, either by general principles which are common to our free institutions, or by the particular provisions of the constitution of the United States, from passing a law whereby the estate of the plaintiff in the premises so purchased could be constitutionally and legally impaired and rendered null and void." 10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 87, 139 (1810).