Unit_4_notes-1 - November 3rd, 2003 "The supreme court and...

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November 3 rd , 2003 “The supreme court and judicial review” I. Marbury Vs. Madison (1803) The constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is emphatically the province of the judicial department to saw what that law is.” The most important part: Judicial Review – this can declare congress, president and states unconstitutional – scholars argue that founding fathers never meant for supreme court to be like this: 1. No wording of judicial review 2. Could have overlooked judicial review (not true). Conclusion of the scholars : They never wanted to give them this power: 1. Whole constitution is based on balancing and checking power, why would they make supreme court not check over the president and congress? 2. If you don’t give supreme court power of judicial review, how do you settle disputes between the president and congress? 3. At the time that founding fathers decided, every state court had judicial review, surely they would want the highest court in the land to have that same power. II. Marbury vs. Madison (1803) – Most important case supreme court has ever heard In election of 1800, president John Adams lost re-election to Thomas Jefferson. Adams and Federalists saw Jefferson as a very dangerous radical. In closing days of Adams administration, there were 59 vacancies in gov’t positions. Adams said he would try to appoint and fill for Jefferson, because he didn’t like Jefferson’s party. Jefferson was outrages. One of the positions was “Justice of Peace of D.C.” John Adams appointed William Marbury. Adams leaves office. Jefferson’s secretary of state is James Madison. Madison finds 17 letters for appointing which never got sent. Jefferson says don’t send them. Marbury wants to know why his commission didn’t get sent, and says he has to be appointed because of Judiciary Act Marbury’s case is the kind of case that can go directly to supreme court. Asked them to issue a “Writ of Mandamus.” This is an order by the court instructing someone to carry out their responsibilities (giving the commission to Adams). Chief Justice was John Marshall, the old secretary of state for Adams. Jefferson publicly stated that if they order him to hand the commission over he would refuse to obey it. Marshall thought he was in real dilemma. Jefferson already said he wasn’t going to obey him, and on the other hand, he didn’t want to condone what Jefferson and Madison were doing. Marshall came up with a decision after studying the case: 1. “Marbury’s commission is being illegally withheld from him and Madison can be ordered to deliver it to him. (Designed to put court on record for disapproving what Madison and Jefferson had done). 2. “However, Marybury has come to the wrong court to remedy this injustice because the supreme court has no authority to hear a case of this kind.” (Designed to totally sidestep direct confrontation with Jefferson). 3. “Even though the Judiciary Act of 1789 passed by congress gives us the authority to hear this case, this act is unconstitutional. -
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course POLS 102 taught by Professor Hammock during the Spring '08 term at WVU.

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Unit_4_notes-1 - November 3rd, 2003 "The supreme court and...

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