The Marbury Versus Madison Case Essay

The Marbury Versus Madison Case Essay

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The Marbury versus Madison case of 1803 irrefutably remains one of the most significant cases in history of the Supreme Court, because it was the first United States Supreme Court case to utilize the principle known as judicial review ( Staff, 2009). This principle gives the Judicial Branch of the government, in particular the federal courts, the power to declare an act of Congress null and void if they find that it conflicts with the Constitution of the United States. This mandate, by Chief Justice John Marshall, would become a point of contention that places the Supreme Court on par with not only Congress, but the Executive Branch of the government as well.

The sequence of events leading to this decision comprised a complex series of facts. First, Thomas Jefferson, a member of the recently organized Democratic - Republican Party, defeated John Adams, a member of the Federalist Party, which generated a tone of political panic for Federalist Party members (LAWNIX, n.d.). As a result, John Adams in the last few days of his administration began to appoint a considerable number of individuals as justices of peace for the District of Columbia. Their commissions agreed upon by the Senate, and further signed by President Adams, with the government’s official seal had a delay in delivery. Hence, when President Jefferson took his office the 5th of March in 1801 and at this time he mandated that James Madison, the Secretary of State of his cabinet, was not to relinquish them. Consequently, William Marbury, an appointee, appealed to the Supreme Court along with three other appointees for a writ of mandamus, which is a legal order that obliged Madison to substantiate the refusal of these commissions.

Thus, the resolution of t...

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... check and balance of the individual branches. Furthermore, Jefferson professed an opinion that the dictates that maintains that the judges have the right to decide constitutionality of the laws for the Judicial, as well as, the Legislature and Executive branches creates a form of despotic control. In these thoughts, I must concur because I too maintain that no one person or in this case a governmental branch should possess sole authority to dictate what is constitutional and what is not constitutional. I do feel that the judiciary branches responsibility to interpret law, but constitutional interpretation should require multiple branches since the whole of the document was to provide a check and balance system. Our Constitution, professes that we are a government for the people by the people, and I feel that one interpretation dose not substantiate this premise.

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