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As John Adams' presidency was ending, he wanted to make an impression. He didn't like Jefferson all that much, so he made a plan to show him who was boss.
During the last days of Adams' presidency, he appointed William Marbury and a few others to be Justices of Peace. He wasn't able to deliver all the papers before he left, so Jefferson had to complete the job.
Marbury for Justice of Peace
Jefferson brought the papers to his Secretary of State, James Madison, and told him not to deliver the papers.
Marbury thought that that was against the rules, so he took the case to court. The case was named Marbury vs. Madison.
That isn't constitutional!
The court case asked three questions. Do the Plantiffs have the right to recieve their commision? Can they sue for not getting their commisions? Can the Supreme Court makeMadison give the commisions? The court ruled that while they have the right to get their commisions and sue, Madison does not have to hand the papers over.
Marbury vs. Madison is one of the most important cases in Supreme Court history. The reason it's so important is because it was the first U.S.court case to use "judicial review": the power of federal courts to deflect acts of Congress if it conflicts with the Constitution.
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