The case between William Marbury and James Madison
In the presidential election 1800, Thomas Jefferson won against John Adams. In John Adams' last hours of presidency, he appointed many federalist judges to maintain the Federalist power in Congress.
Before Jefferson Becomes President, I will appoint Judges to office so the federalists wil have power in the judicial branch
Yes, you can.
I cannot wait to be a judge
Can I be a judge too?
I am so grateful that I am the third president of the US.
Upon taking office, President Jefferson wanted to block Federalist Judges appointed by his predecessor, President John Adams. He order his Secretary of State, James Madison not to send the commissions to those Federalist judges.
What's that on my desk?
Do not deliver these commissions
I, James Madison, will assure you that these documents will not be sent, sir.
Those are Commission papers, signed by President John Adams, sir
Marbury noticed that his commission to be appointed in congress has not arrived. He and three other similarly situated appointees petitioned for a writ of mandamus compelling the delivery of their commissions. His case against James Madison reached the Supreme Court in 1803.
Why haven't they sent me my commission papers?!
I am going to bring this case to the court
I'm sorry Mr. Marbury, but the president told me not to send the commission papers to you.
The chief court justice, John Marshall, denied the petition and the writ of mandamus. Although he found out that the petitioners were entitled to their commissions, he held the Constitution and did not give the Supreme Court the right to issue writs of mandamus. The Judiciary Act of 1789 provide congress the power to issue these writs, but it gave greater power to the courts than the Constitution allowed. John Marshall stated that the law was unconstitutional and Marbury will not receive his commission.
The plaitiff of the case shall not recieve his writ of mandamus and shall not become a judge.
In effect, through Marshall's decision he created a long term judicial victory. By ruling the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional, Marshall established the doctrine of judicial review. From this point on, the Supreme Court has the power to decide whether an act of Congress or of the president was allowed by the Constitution.