John Jay was an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783, and the first Chief Justice of the United States from 1789 to 1795. He directed U.S. foreign policy for much of the 1780s and was an important leader of the Federalist Party after the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788.
He was born on December 12, 1745, in New York, New York, and grew up in Rye, New York. He was graduated from King’s College (Now Columbia University) in 1764. He read law in a New York law firm and was admitted to the bar in 1768. Jay served as a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses, and was elected President of the Continental Congress in 1778.
He also served in the New York State militia. In 1779, Jay was sent on a diplomatic mission to Spain in an effort to gain recognition and economic assistance for the United States. His most famous cases are mainly three also because during his Justiceship he only treated four cases:His first case didn’t occur until 1791(West v.
Barnes), this cases involved a Rhode Island statute that use to permit a payment in paper currency instead any other payment method. To fix this issue Jay’s court didn’t pay attention to the constitution, but apparently everybody agreed in fact the court decided with the unanimously that it was a problem by procedural grounds. The court strictly interpreted statutory requirements and they use this case to establish the principle of judicial review.In Hayburn’s Case (1792), his court didn’t really make a decision, they just decided to postpone the final decision. In the time while the case was suspended the Congress changed the law. The case was about the pensions for the people that were soldiers during the american revolution, the federal state was wondering if those pensions should be with a petition or a non-judicial function. The jay court also wrote a letter to the president Washington. The final decision was about the legislature and the executive branch that revised the court’s role.
The new statute violated the separation of powers going against the constitutions.In Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), the Jay Court had to answer the question: “Was the state of Georgia subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the federal government?”. The first decision was that all the states were subjected to judicial review, this decision was more in favor for south Carolina Loyalist, that also got money from the old debts because they had their land in Georgia. This case wasn’t done because it had brought to the court another time.
Georgia v. Brailsford in this case Jay changed his mind about the previous case. Jay said “good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide”. So he finally decide “both objects the law and the facts are lawfully within your power of decision.”If we talk about John Jay we have to mention the “Jay Treaty” this treaty made by him is about the relations among Britain and USA that during that period were very bad also because in 1794 the very difficult situation turned in a war. Jay was sended in Britain to find a compromise about Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and The United States of America. This treaty didn’t solve all the problems in particular about American grievances about neutral shipping rights and impressment, this problem brought at the 1812 war. A lot of people in Britain and America started to hate John Jay and make a lot of graffiti against him and some writers wrote against him in the newspaper.
Jay served as the Governor of New York from 1795 to 1801. In the waning days of President John Adams’s administration, Jay was confirmed by the Senate for another term as Chief Justice, but he declined the position and retired to his farm in Westchester County, New York.