Marbury Vs. Madison

Essay by xkiraxCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2007

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The case of Marbury v. Madison took place in February 1803. It was started with Thomas Jefferson winning the Presidential election against John Adams. Before Jefferson took office Adams and his administration passed the Judiciary Act of 1801, which overrode the Judiciary Act of 1789. This act established ten new district courts, expanded the circuit court from three to six, added additional judges to each circuit, gave the President the authority to appoint federal judges and Justices of Peace, and it reduced the number of Supreme Court justices from six to five. Two day before he left office, Adams appointed sixteen new federal circuit judges and forty two Justices of Peace. He appointed Marbury as the Justice of Peace in DC. The appointments were approved the next day, but not all of them could be delivered before Adams' term expired. Therefore Marbury did not receive his commission. When Jefferson took office he ordered Levi Lincoln, acting Secretary of State, to not deliver the remaining letters.

The first thing the republicans did was pass the Judiciary Act of 1802. This act reversed the Act of 1801 and it replaced the court's two annual sessions with one.

Marbury sued Secretary of State, James Madison, to force him to deliver his commission as Justice of Peace. Marshall was the presiding Chief Justice. He declared that Madison should have delivered the commission, but that the section of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that gave the Supreme Court power to issue writs of mandamus surpassed the authority given to the Court under article three of the Constitution, therefore it was invalid. Marbury was unsuccessful in his petition; he never became Justice of Peace in DC.

This court case established three things:1."The authority to declare acts of congress and the implication acts of the...