when President Jefferson took office. The new president instructed Secretary of State James Madison to withhold delivery of the commissions. Marbury sought mandamus in the Supreme Court, requiring James Madison to deliver his commission. o Issue. Is Marbury entitled to mandamus from the Supreme Court? o Held. No. Case dismissed for want of jurisdiction. As the President signed Marbury’s commission after his confirmation, the appointment has been made, and Marbury has a right to the commission Given that the law imposed a duty on the office of the president to deliver Marbury’s commission, that the Supreme Court has the power to review executive actions when the executive acts as an officer of the law and the nature of the writ of mandamus to direct an officer of the government “to do a particular thing therein specified,” mandamus is the appropriate remedy, if available to the Supreme Court. To issue mandamus to the Secretary of State really is to sustain an original action, which is (in this case) outside the constitutional limits of jurisdiction imposed on the Supreme Court. o Conclusion . Though Marbury was entitled to it, the Court was unable to grant it because Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 conflicted with Article III Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution and was therefore null and void. Is Marbury entitled to his appointment? Is his lawsuit the correct way to get it? And, is the Supreme Court the place for Marbury to get the relief he requests? Yes; yes; and it depends. The justices held, through Marshall's forceful argument, that on the last issue the Constitution was "the fundamental and paramount law of the nation" and that "an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void." In other words, when the Constitution--the nation's highest law--conflicts with an act of the legislature, that act is invalid. This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of judicial review. o Discussion. The importance of Marbury v. Madison is both political and legal. Although the case establishes the traditions of judicial review and a litigable constitution on which the remainder of constitutional law rests, it also transformed the Supreme Court from an incongruous institution to an equipotent head of a branch of the federal government. • PHILADELPHIA v. NEW JERSEY o Brief Fact Summary. A New Jersey law prohibited the importation of solid or liquid waste that originated or was collected from outside of the State. Private landfill operators challenged the constitutionality of the law. o Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where a state regulates non-discriminatorily for the achievement of a legitimate local purpose and thereby affects interstate commerce, the state action is constitutional unless the burdens of such regulation on interstate commerce are clearly excessive relative to the putative local benefits of it.
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