Original Supreme Court Papers of Marbury v. Madison
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Those, then, who controvert the principle that the Constitution is to be considered in court as a paramount law are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the Constitution, and see only the law.

This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions.


Marbury vs. Madison Supreme Court Case


Federal Documents


Causes judges to examine cases based on constitutionality


All decisions based on 1803 text


Reading by a judge


Out and About List


Origin[edit | edit source]

This decision established the court's right of judicial review for the new nation, which had not been challenged until then. In 1803, Congress and President Adams filled many judicial positions with Federalist allies to frustrate the incoming Republican-Democrat Thomas Jefferson. Since this was done in the final weeks of Adams’ term, Judge William Marbury failed to receive his promised commission. New State Secretary James Madison denied payment on the fact there was no formal contract.

The case was tried in the Supreme Court headed by John Marshall, another Adams appointee. He found that Marbury was rightly entitled, but the law which allowed him to originally petition was itself unconstitutional. Marbury lost the case and Marshall established the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review, allowing it to deny the passage of new laws if they were deemed incompatible with the Constitution.

Effects[edit | edit source]

When read by a judge, it makes them examine cases based on their constitutionality, regardless of what the case at hand is. Normally, they will try to determine whether the parties have the legal right to pursue such claims and if the government, on any level, is abiding by its own ruleset. However, all decisions are based on what the United States Constitution was in 1803, meaning they will ignore any later amendments and federal restructuring.

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