Marbury v.

Madison Decision was important because it established Supreme Court right of judicial review- the right to determine the constitutionality of laws, and it strengthen the judiciary in relation to other branches of government The Marbury case occurred during an era when the United States was still refining the balance of power between the three branches of government, and trying to adjust to differences between English laws and traditions followed in Colonial America and the new mandates established by the Constitution of the United States. There was considerable political tension and disagreement between parties that had different visions and strategies for how the government should be run. About John Adams lost his bid for reelection to Thomas Jefferson in the 1800 Presidential election. Adams was a member of the Federalist party, while Jefferson was a member of the Democratic-Republican party that considered themselves anti-Federalist in their thinking. The Federalists were losing power in the US government, so President Adams attempted to fill up the judicial branch with members of his own party right before leaving office. One group of 42 men was appointed as justices of the peace for the newly built-in Washington DC, territory. The appointments occurred during the last two days of Adams' term of office so the paperwork wasn't completed in time to allow the commissions to be delivered to the justices of the peace so they could start work. John Marshall, who was both Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during the last month of Adams' administration, assumed James Madison, the new Secretary of State, would have the paperwork delivered. The new President, Thomas Jefferson, found the commissions on a desk in the Secretary of State's office before Madison arrived in town. Jefferson thought Adams appointed too many people, and also wanted to balance the appointments by replacing some with members of his own party. Approximately seventeen of the original commissions were discarded in the process. William Marbury was one of the men who never received his commission. He filed suit with the US Supreme Court, asking that a writ of mandamus which is a court order demanding an official take a specific legal action, be issued to James Madison, because the Secretary of State was responsible for delivering the paperwork. Chief Justice John Marshall sent an order asking Madison to show reason why the Court shouldn't issue the writ, but Madison ignored Marshall. This created a dilemma, because Madison's behavior indicated he wouldn't cooperate with the Supreme Court, which could have weakened the Judicial branch's role in government. When the case finally came to trial in 1803, Marshall came up with a smart plan. The opinion of the

Court stated that Marbury was entitled to his commission, but the Supreme Court didn't have original jurisdiction (the right to hear a case for the first time) over Marbury's suit because the Constitution didn't give the Court the power to issue writs of mandamus against government officials. Marshall decided Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional because Congress gave the Supreme Court power to issue writs of mandamus, which wasn't part of the power assigned to the Court under original jurisdiction in Article 3 of the Constitution. This would have had the effect of changing the Constitution through simple legislation, which is prohibited. Marshall said the Supreme Court didn't have authority to force Madison to deliver Marbury's papers, and that Marbury would have to refile his case in a lower court ,which never happened. The decision in Marbury v. Madison is historic because this was the first time the Supreme Court declared an Act of Congress unconstitutional. In doing so, Marshall affirmed the Court's right of judicial review, the power to evaluate laws that are part of a case under consideration to determine whether the law is constitutional. This ruling strengthened the Judicial branch of government, and made obvious that the power of judicial review is a check on the actions of Congress and the President). Importance Marbury v. Madison illustrates how the power of the Supreme Court, or the Federal Courts, depends not only on its constitutional authority, but on how the Constitution is interpreted, how the judicial branch avoids a confrontation with the other branches of government, and how the members of the court go about making a decision. The decision in the case established the right of judicial review for the federal courts. John Marshall, and the other members supporting his decision, ruled that the Supreme Court had no power to issue writs to compel public officials to do their duty, in this case awarding an appointment made by President Adams, because of the Judicial Act of 1789 giving the court that power was unconstitutional. Marshall pointed out that the Constitution of the United States, Article 3, pointed out the Supreme Court's jurisdiction, and it did not mention issuing writs of the sort in this case. The result of the case was that a showdown and Jefferson was avoided, the court might lose, and the power of the Supreme Court was clarified and increased. Victory John Marshall ruled that Marbury was entitled to his commission, but stated the US Supreme Court didn't have original jurisdiction over the. Both sides won a partial victory; however, Marbury didn't pursue the case in the lower courts as Marshall predetermined, and didn't receive the commission he'd been promised, so Madison, Jefferson won by default.

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