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Unit 4 Lesson 3: Marbury v. Madison

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1 Marbury v. Madison Unit 4 Lesson 3

2 Warm-up 1. What is one way the President can overrule Congress? 2. What is one way Congress can overrule the President? 3. What is the vocabulary term for the above examples?

3 Objective  After class today, you should be able to explain the outcome of the case Marbury v. Madison and the meaning of judicial review.

4 Background Thomas Jefferson, a member of the Republican Party, won the election of 1800. Before Jefferson took office, John Adams, the outgoing President who was a Federalist, quickly appointed 58 members of his own party to fill government jobs created by Congress. He did this because he wanted people from his political party in office.

5 Background It was the responsibility of Adams' Secretary of State, John Marshall, to finish the paperwork and give it to each of the newly appointed officials. Although Marshall signed and sealed all of the papers, he failed to deliver 17 of them to the appointees. When Jefferson became President, he told his new Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver some of the papers. Those individuals couldn't take office until they actually had their papers in hand.

6 Case Adams had appointed William Marbury to be justice of the peace of the District of Columbia but he did not receive his papers. He sued Jefferson's Secretary of State, James Madison, and asked the Supreme Court of the United States to issue a court order requiring that Madison deliver his papers.

7 Case Marbury argued that he was entitled to the job and that the Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the Supreme Court of the United States original jurisdiction to order the delivery of the papers. When the case came before the Court, John Marshall — the person who had failed to deliver the commission in the first place — was the new Chief Justice. The Court had to decide whether Marbury was entitled to his job, and if so, whether the Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the Court the power it needed to force the Secretary of State to appoint Marbury to his position.

8 Decision The Court unanimously decided not to require Madison to deliver the commission to Marbury. Chief Justice Marshall understood the danger that this case posed to the power of the Supreme Court. If the Court required Madison to deliver the commission and Madison refused, the Court had no power to force him to comply, and, therefore the Court would look weak.

9 Decision The Court ruled that Marbury was entitled to his commission, but that according to the Constitution, the Court did not have the authority to require Madison to deliver the commission to Marbury in this case. They found that the Judiciary Act of 1789 conflicted with the Constitution because it gave the Supreme Court more authority than it was given under the Constitution. Marbury brought his lawsuit under the Court’s original jurisdiction, but the justices ruled that it would be an improper exercise of the Court’s original jurisdiction to rule on this case.

10 Decision Declaring the Constitution “superior, paramount law,” the Supreme Court ruled that when ordinary laws conflict with the Constitution, they must be overturned. Furthermore, it is the job of judges, including the justices of the Supreme Court, to interpret laws and determine when they conflict with the Constitution. According to the Court, the Constitution gives the judicial branch the power to strike down laws passed by Congress, the legislative branch. This is the principle of judicial review. Thus, it has been recognized since this decision that it is “emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”

11 1. In this case, was the court interpreting the Constitution or a law?  Both (powers of Congress and the Judiciary Act of 1789) 2. What impact did this case have on the job of the Supreme Court?  It clarified the Court’s power to declare laws unconstitutional. 3. What principle of government came from this case?  Judicial review

12 Multiple Choice Practice 1. Which of these best describes an effect of the Supreme Court decision in Marbury v. Madison? a.It gave the President veto power over Congress b.It divided the government into three separate branches. c.It established the power to void a congressional law. d.It made state governments question federal power.

13 Multiple Choice Practice 2. The United States Supreme Court has the power to a.interpret the Constitutionality of federal laws b.appoint its own members c.approve treaties to end a filibuster

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