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Marbury V Madison Essay

831 words - 3 pages

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U. S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803)1.FactsMarbury was appointed as a justice by former President John Adams in the end of Adam’s term. However, new President Thomas Jefferson refused to deliver the late commission. Marbury then, on the basis of the Judiciary Act of 1789, asked the Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus obligating Madison, the Secretary of State, to deliver the commission.2.HoldingsMarbury has a right to the commission, but Supreme Court can’t afford him legal remedies, since the Judiciary Act of 1789 , on which he base his claim, is unconstitutional.3. Reasoning1.Marbury has a right to the office. Because, (a)When former President signed the commissions, the appointment has already been made, conferring on Marbury a right to the office.(b)This kind of appointment is not revocable at the executive’s discretion.2.Marbury should be afforded legal remedies. Because, (a)The essence of a legal right consists in a claim to legal protections when it is injured.(b)The issue in question concerns whether Marbury has a legal right. It is not a political question which is only politically examinable.3.The writ of mandamus is a proper remedy for Maidson, if this court can issue this kind of writ. Because, (a)The court which issues a writ of mandamus only requests the performance of a legal duty. And this doesn’t constitute an intrusion on executive power.4.The Superme Court can’t issue the writ of mandamus according to the Constitution, however. Because,(a)The Article Ⅲ of the Constitution only assignsappellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, except from “cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party.”(b)The Judiciary Act of 1789 which authorizes the Supreme Court to issue writs of mandamus in effect empowers the Supreme Court to exercise original jurisdiction in these cases. Yet this act is unconstitutional, since the Constitution already enumerates the distribution of jurisdiction among courts, implying the legislature has no power to redistribute it.5.Laws conflicting with the constitution are void. Because, (a)One of the aims of a constitution is to limit governmental powers. And if unconstitutional laws are to be valid, then the constitution can’t in effect limit legislative power, making its aim unattainable. (b)If unconstitutional laws are to be valid, then the constitution is like ordinary acts, all alterable at the will of the legislature. And this is contrary to the nature of a constitution : a fundamental law “unchangeable by ordinary means”.6.The Supreme Court has the power to nullify unconstitutional laws....

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