Gibson, John Bannister

Gibson, John Bannister, 1780–1853, American jurist, b. Westover Mills, Pa.; nephew of the American frontiersman John Gibson. 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. Madison. 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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