The Court Case of Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review

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The court case of Marbury v. Madison (1803) is credited and widely believed to be the creator of the “unprecedented” concept of Judicial Review. John Marshall, the Supreme Court Justice at the time, is lionized as a pioneer of Constitutional justice, but, in the past, was never really recognized as so. What needs to be clarified is that nothing in history is truly unprecedented, and Marbury v. Madison’s modern glorification is merely a product of years of disagreements on the validity of judicial review, fueled by court cases like Eakin v. Raub; John Marshall was also never really recognized in the past as the creator of judicial review, as shown in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford. John Adams, the previous Federalist president, lost the Election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican. Before Jefferson took office, Adams decided to appoint as many Federalists into the Supreme court as he could, including William Marbury, all of whom needed to be commissioned in order to be officially sworn in. However, Jefferson took office before the commissions could be handed out, and he ordered his Secretary of State, James Madison, to not deliver the commissions. Marbury proceeded to ask Marshall for a writ of mandamus (found in Section 13 of the Judiciary Act), forcing Madison to issue the commissions. This dispute between Marbury and Madison sparks the famous case. The dilemma here is the differences in interpretation. Some viewed Section 13 as unconstitutional, as it added power to the Judicial Branch, disrupting checks and balances. Others saw that “Marbury had been duly appointed…[and] the writ of mandamus [was] to be an appropriate legal remedy for resolving Marbury’s dilemma”(Clinton 86). Marshall wanted to issue the... ... middle of paper ... ...n and scrutiny to judicial review. It can be inferred that if in the present, judicial review was seen as unconstitutional, then one might view Gibson’s oppositions as one views Marbury v. Madison now. Marbury v. Madison is given credit for creating the concept of judicial review, even though historical evidence proves otherwise. Also, John Marshall, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was never really given credit for his contributions, even if they were not unprecedented. As for the book, “Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review” by: Robert Lowry Clinton, I found this book unenjoyable since it is a topic I have little interest in. Also, the book was very hard to read, with the topics kind of scattered and not chronological. Works Cited Clinton, Robert Lowry. Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review. Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas, 1989. Print.
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