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Important Court Case In American History: Marbury V. Madison

604 words - 3 pages

Arguably the most important court case in American History, Marbury v. Madison was a revolutionary decision that set precedent unparalleled to any other court case. This case, which regarded the midnight appointment of Marbury, a justice, is more important for its effects than the actual ruling. It established the incredibly important judicial review; the Supreme Court’s power to declare acts of congress unconstitutional, and balanced the judicial branch with other branches.
Marbury v. Madison, the most important American court case, began with the election of 1800. Jefferson defeated Adams, the current president and a Federalist. Adams in return appointed 42 justices of peace and 16 new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia under the Organic Act on the last day of his presidency. Jefferson views these commissions as invalid since they were issued after Adams’ term expired. He ordered secretary of state James Madison not to deliver the appointments. Marbury, an appointee, thus petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, or legal order, ordering Madison to give Marbury his commission. Chief Justice Marshall determined that Marbury had a right to this writ because he had been properly appointed in accordance with procedures established by law, and that the law must afford him a remedy since he had the legal right to his commission. He states that is was the job of the courts to protect the right of individuals. However, he ruled that the court could not force Madison to give the commission to Marbury. He justified this because the Judiciary Act of 1789 provided the Supreme Court jurisdiction, yet it was unconstitutional since judiciary power was extended into executive power. This proved that in this Judiciary Act Congress was going against the Constitution, and therefore it was not law. He claimed that it was the court’s responsibility to...

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