Marbury vs. Madison

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  • 1801
  • I am suing James Madison for withholding my commission to become a Chief Justice in Washington D.C.
  • John Adams' last minute appointments were an outrage of decency. We refuse to deliver the commission.
  • Section 13 the Judiciary Act of 1789 gives me the right to my commission.
  • The people should have the right to express their will in the law. We should not issue checs on those beliefs.
  • It is the role of the court to decide on the law. The law is not partial. We should look at the Constitution loosely.
  • Madison and Jefferson did act illegally, but if I order them to deliver the commission and they ignore it then it will reflect badly on the Judicial branch.
  • 1803
  • I rule that it was illegal for Madison and Jefferson to withhold the commission, but I cannot order them to deliver it. I also rule that section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional.
  • Thus the power of judicial review was given to the courts.
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