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Marbury v. Madison Argued Feb 11, 1803 Decided Feb 24, 1803.

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Presentation on theme: "Marbury v. Madison Argued Feb 11, 1803 Decided Feb 24, 1803."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marbury v. Madison Argued Feb 11, 1803 Decided Feb 24, 1803

2 Background 1800 election  Adams (F) lost to Jefferson (DR) Adams—”Midnight Judges”  Appointed 42 judges March 2  Senate confirmed March 3  Jefferson inaugurated March 4

3 Background Secretary of State  Acted as employment officer of government  Certified job appointments Under Adams:  John Marshall Under Jefferson:  James Madison

4 Background William Marbury  Adams appointee for judge in DC  Jefferson ordered Madison not to certify appointment  Marbury sued, asked SCOTUS for writ of mandamus

5 Background John Marshall  Had been Sec of State  New Chief Justice The dilemma:  If he issued writ—what if Jefferson ignored it?  If he didn’t—he was scared or weak

6 Law in Question #1 US Constitution—A3 §2 ¶2  In all cases involving Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.  In all the other Cases … the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction…

7 Law in Question #2 US Constitution—A6 ¶2-3  This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme Law of the Land…  …judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound…to support this Constitution…

8 Law in question #3 Judiciary Act of 1789—§13  The Supreme Court…shall have power to issue…writs of mandamus to any…persons holding office, under the authority of the United States Writs of mandamus are acts of original jurisdiction, because the action is not an appeal from a lower court

9 Decision Supreme Court ruled unanimously: Judiciary Act of 1789 gave SCOTUS a power denied to it by the Constitution  Original jurisdiction it was not entitled to have No law can violate Constitution—it is invalid if it does

10 Impact Established Judicial Review for SCOTUS  Ability of SCOTUS to determine constitutionality of laws  Made SCOTUS equal with other branches

11 BUT… This case did not invent judicial review  Judicial review existed in Britain for many years before Marbury (since at least 1610)  Several states had it in their constitutions  Hamilton specifically wrote in Federalist 78: A constitution…must be regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. It, therefore, belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body.

12 Coda William Marbury didn’t get the job Thomas Jefferson didn’t have to give jobs to the people he didn’t want to John Marshall got a new classification of power that dramatically increased his influence for decades


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