Civics project Marbury v Madison

Civics project Marbury v Madison
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  • Case File
  • Madison
  • Marbury v. Madison
  • Marbury
  • Facts of the Case
  • Marbury vs Madison was a case that tested the power of the supreme court. The case took place in 1803. In his final days of office, President John Adams appointed numerous federal judges and justices of the peace including John Marshall, the chief justice of the court, and William Marbury as justice of the peace for Washington D.C. Not all of these appointments were finalized before the end of Adam's presidency. The new president, Thomas Jefferson, told his Secretary of State, James Madison, to not turn in the remaining appointments since they were not valid anymore. William Marbury sued James Madison for not turning in his commission. Marbury filed the suit directly to the Supreme Court for it to order Madison to turn in the commission. The Judiciary Act of 1789 had given the Supreme Court the power to give these orders (writs of mandamus).
  • Marbury vs Madison was a case that tested the power of the supreme court. The case took place in 1803. In his final days of office, President John Adams appointed numerous federal judges and justices of the peace including John Marshall, the chief justice of the court, and William Marbury as justice of the peace for Washington D.C. This was done to increase the number of Federalists in the National government. Not all of these appointments were finalized before the end of Adam's presidency. The new president, Thomas Jefferson, told his Secretary of State, James Madison, to not turn in the remaining appointments since they were not valid anymore. William Marbury sued James Madison for not turning in his commission. Marbury filed the lawsuit directly to the Supreme Court for it to order Madison to turn in the commission. The Judiciary Act of 1789 had given the Supreme Court the power to give these orders (writs of mandamus).
  • Question Before the Court
  • Does the Supreme Court have the power to force James Madison, the Secretary of State, to give Madison his commission and can the Supreme Court rule on the Constitutionality of a law approved by Congress?
  • Arguments from the Petitioner
  • Without the commission delivered, I will not be able to fulfill the duties of office. Also, congress gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction for Writ of Mandamus.
  • Arguments from the Respondent
  • Marbury's commission is no longer valid since it was not delivered before the end of Adam's presidency. 
  • Decision
  • The Supreme Court decided that Marbury deserved the commission. However, it also said that the Court did not have original jurisdiction to issue the writs of mandamus Marbury asked for. Therefore, Madison never returned William Marbury's commission. 
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