Political Science 102 Exam IV

Political Science - Political Science 102 Exam IV The Supreme Court Important Concepts 1 Marbury vs Madison(1803 Historical decision that

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Political Science 102 Exam IV The Supreme Court Important Concepts: 1. Marbury vs. Madison (1803) – Historical decision that officially established judicial review, the power of the courts, especially the Supreme Courts, to declare laws of Congress, laws of the states, and actions of the president as unconstitutional and invalid , as the most important judicial check on congressional power. In the election of 1800, Federalist President John Adams was defeated by Anti- Federalist Thomas Jefferson. In the final days of Adams administration, he filled fifty-nine vacant government positions with Federalist individuals to “pack” the government with Federalists, one of whom was William Marbruy. However, seventeen of these “midnight appointments” were left undelivered. Jefferson and Madison attempted to replace the individuals who had been told they were appointed a position, but did not receive their appointments, with Anti-Federalists. The Judiciary Act of 1789 stated that Marbury’s case was the type that could go straight to the Supreme Court without first being addressed in a lower court. Marbury requested the Supreme Court issue a writ of mandamus, an order issued by the court instructing someone to fulfill their responsibilities . Jefferson, however, publicly stated he would refuse to obey the Supreme Court is they attempted to issue the writ of mandamus. John Marshall, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, wanted the Supreme Court to assert the power of judicial review. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Marshall constructed a classic statement in judicial reasoning as he proceeded step by step to infer judicial review from the Constitution’s Supremacy and Judicial Power clauses: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, binding on all branches of the government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The Constitution deliberately establishes a government with limited powers. Consequently, “an act of the legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void.” If this were not true, the government would be unchecked and the Constitution would be an absurdity.
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Under the judicial power, “it is emphatically the province and duty of each of the judicial departments to say what the law is.” “So if a law be in opposition to the Constitution…the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is the very essence of judicial duty.” “If, then, the courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is superior to and ordinary act of the legislature, the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.” Hence, if a law is repugnant to the Constitution, the judges are duty bound to declare that law void in order to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution. The Supreme Court decided as follows:
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POLS 102 taught by Professor Hammock during the Fall '08 term at WVU.

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Political Science - Political Science 102 Exam IV The Supreme Court Important Concepts 1 Marbury vs Madison(1803 Historical decision that

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