Marbury v. Madison

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  • Characters: John Adams Thomas Jefferson James Madison William Marbury Chief Justice John Marshall
  • Marbury v. Madison 1803
  • Since it's my last night in office, I need to get some work done to help out my party. I think I will appoint William Marbury to be Justice of the Peace for D.C. ~John Adams
  • Madison, that crazy Adams appointed all these people his last day in office. I want you to withhold all of the commissions he made. ~Thomas Jefferson
  • Yes, sir! He won't be the justice of the peace on our watch. ~James Madison
  • Next Day...
  • President Adams appointed me to be the Justice of the Peace for D.C, and I want my position. I'm petitioning a writ of mandamus, and the Judiciary Act of 1789 says that you, the Supreme Court, can give me one. ~Willam Marbury
  • The unanimous opinion of the court is that the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional; therefore, we cannot issue your writ of mandamus because it is unconstitutional also. ~Chief Justice John Marshall
  • Now that the Supreme Court has established judicial review in this case, it will forever be in the power of the Supreme Court to rule legislative and executive branch decisions unconstitutional. ~Chief Justice John Marshall
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