MARBURY v. MADISON
Marbury v. Madison
In 1803, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, decided the landmark case
of William Marbury versus James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States and confirms
the legal principle of judicial review–the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional
power by declaring legislation unconstitutional–in the new nation.
John Marshall's decision in
the case of Marbury v. Madison had a significant impact on the role of the Supreme Court and
politics in the United States.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were colleagues and friends
during the founding of the Republic.
Their different personalities and political views could have
served as an indicator that their friendship would be short lived.
Thomas Jefferson was the Vice
President of the United States when John Adams was President from 1797-1801 on the basis of
Jefferson receiving the second most electoral votes even though they belonged to different
political parties (Castellano, 2006).
In 1800, Jefferson challenged Adams for the presidency and
Thomas’ win would put an end to their friendship and cause them to become enemies.
The Federalist Party was the majority in Congress while Adams was in office.
last days of his term the Federalists would use their majority control to pass legislation that
would increase the number of federal judges, including justices-of-the-peace.
forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia
under the Organic Act.
The Organic Act served as an attempt by the Federalists to gain control
of the federal judiciary before Jefferson was sworn in.
The commissions were signed by
President Adams and sealed by acting Secretary of State John Marshall.
Marshall would later
become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the author of the opinion of Marbury v.
The commissions were not delivered before the expiration of Adams’s term and this
would become a problem.
Thomas Jefferson claimed that the commissions were invalid because