Why is concept of judicial review central to our system of separation of powers and checks and balances?

Extra Credit – Judicial Review

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 127 (1803)

1. What was basic disagreement?

2. Why did Marbury seek relief?

3. Why is concept of judicial review central to our system of separation of

powers and checks and balances?

This is perhaps the most difficult case to understand (because of it was

written almost 250 years ago and it describes arcane legal processes).

Nevertheless, it is arguably the most important case in United States’

history. Factually, Marbury was appointed to be a judge (then called a

Justice of the Peace) in Washington DC by outgoing President Adams. His

appointment was confirmed by the Senate. His commission (along with the

commissions of a few other judges) was properly signed and sealed, but

never delivered to him. Marbury sued the new Secretary of State, James

Madison, to make him deliver the commission so he could become a judge. The

legal device to effect this action was called a writ of mandamus. The

tricky part to the case is its procedure. Marbury filed his case directly

in the Supreme Court (not in a lower federal court) in accordance with the

judiciary act (a law passed by Congress). This law expanded the original

jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond what the Constitution defined its

original jurisdiction to be. The importance of the case is it sets a

process/precedent for what should happen when a law passed by a legislature

and the language of the constitution are at odds. Read the case and watch

the following program: http://landmarkcases.c-span.org/Case/1/Marbury-V-Links to an external site.

Madison. It is about an hour and a half in length. Your paper should be 5-7

pages in length and answer the three questions included in the original

assignment.

Related posts

Latest posts

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.