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Marbury V. Madison: The Legacy Of Judicial Review

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Marbury v. Madison: The Legacy of Judicial Review John Marshall, Supreme Court Justice, created legal precedence in the historical case, Marbury v. Madison in 1803. Throughout history he is portrayed as the fountainhead of judicial review. Marshall asserted the right of the judicial branch of government to void legislation it deemed unconstitutional, (Lemieux, 2003). In this essay, I will describe the factual circumstances and the Supreme Court holdings explaining the reasoning behind Chief Justice Marshall’s conclusions in the case, Marbury v. Madison. Furthermore, I will evaluate whether the doctrine of judicial review is consistent with the Constitution and analysis the positive effects of the doctrine in American politics.
The Constitution
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1116). The doctrine of judicial review is consistent with the Constitution due to the judicial independence needed to the commitment of the Constitution in protecting the individual rights of its citizens. Moreover, Governor Burke of North Carolina, recognized that judicial review was the ultimate expression of judicial independence, stating "civil liberty would be deprived of its surest defenses against the most dangerous usurpations, that is the independency of the Judiciary power and its capacity of protecting individuals from the operation of laws unconstitutional and tyrannical, (Gerber, 2008, p. 1124). The civil liberties granted to the citizens would be left defenseless to unconstitutional laws and a political system, where the government attempts to regulate the lives of the citizens. Furthermore, Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 78, asserted judicial review is essential to the preservation of a government of limited powers, (Hamilton, 2008). Concluding, that without judicial review, the rights and privileges granted to the citizens would be lost. Chief Justice Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison, stated, “federal statues and laws are supreme only if made in pursuance of the Constitution”, further reinforcing judicial review. For over 200 years, citizens continue to experience the positive impact of the doctrine of judicial review. The power of judicial…show more content…
Madison, declared the power of the courts to interpret the Constitution and affirmed the power of judicial review. The power of judicial review averted the judiciary branch of the inherent weakness and lack of equality in power among the three branches of government. The independence of the Supreme Court is paramount in protecting the civil liberties granted to citizens. The judicial power afforded by means of the doctrine of judicial review is not superior or above the other two branches of government. The Supreme Court’s duty is to nullify legislative acts contrary to the Constitution. Hamilton expounds the power of the courts in the Federalist Papers No. 78, “it only supposes that the power of the people is superior to both”, and judges should regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, (Hamilton, 2008). The Supreme Court’s duty is to nullify legislative acts contrary to the