Marbury vs Madison

8 August 2016

On President John Adam’s last day in office, March 4 he appointed forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia as an attempt by the federalists to take control of the judiciary before Thomas Jefferson took office. The commissions were signed and sealed by President Adams, but they were not delivered before the expiration of Adams’s presidency. Jefferson, the president succeeding Adams, refused to uphold the new judicial commissions, claiming that, because the commissions had not been delivered during Adam’s term, the new administration was not required to honor them.

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William Marbury, one of the intended justices of the peace, applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, which would require James Madison, the Secretary of State, to deliver the commissions. While Marbury did have a right to the commission as soon as it was signed by President Adams, he did not, by law, have right to a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court decided that Marbury could not force Madison to deliver the commission and, therefore, Marbury lost the judicial position. Marbury v. Madison set the precedent for how the judicial branch could check the powers of the executive and legislative branches.

In the end, what made the case important was that it established the concept of judicial review, meaning that the Courts claimed the exclusive right to decide what is and what is not allowed by the Constitution. Marbury v. Madison On President John Adam’s last day in office, March 4 he appointed forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia as an attempt by the federalists to take control of the judiciary before Thomas Jefferson took office.

The commissions were signed and sealed by President Adams, but they were not delivered before the expiration of Adams’s presidency. Jefferson, the president succeeding Adams, refused to uphold the new judicial commissions, claiming that, because the commissions had not been delivered during Adam’s term, the new administration was not required to honor them. William Marbury, one of the intended justices of the peace, applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, which would require James Madison, the Secretary of State, to deliver the commissions.

While Marbury did have a right to the commission as soon as it was signed by President Adams, he did not, by law, have right to a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court decided that Marbury could not force Madison to deliver the commission and, therefore, Marbury lost the judicial position. Marbury v. Madison set the precedent for how the judicial branch could check the powers of the executive and legislative branches.

In the end, what made the case important was that it established the concept of judicial review, meaning that the Courts claimed the exclusive right to decide what is and what is not allowed by the Constitution. Marbury v. Madison On President John Adam’s last day in office, March 4 he appointed forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia as an attempt by the federalists to take control of the judiciary before Thomas Jefferson took office.

The commissions were signed and sealed by President Adams, but they were not delivered before the expiration of Adams’s presidency. Jefferson, the president succeeding Adams, refused to uphold the new judicial commissions, claiming that, because the commissions had not been delivered during Adam’s term, the new administration was not required to honor them. William Marbury, one of the intended justices of the peace, applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, which would require James Madison, the Secretary of State, to deliver the commissions.

While Marbury did have a right to the commission as soon as it was signed by President Adams, he did not, by law, have right to a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court decided that Marbury could not force Madison to deliver the commission and, therefore, Marbury lost the judicial position. Marbury v. Madison set the precedent for how the judicial branch could check the powers of the executive and legislative branches. In the end, what made the case important was that it established the concept of judicial review, meaning that the Courts claimed the exclusive right to decide what is and what is not allowed by the Constitution.

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