Marbury v. Madison

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Marbury v. Madison,

case decided in 1803 by the U.S. Supreme Court. William Marbury had been commissioned justice of the peace in the District of Columbia by President John Adams in the "midnight appointments" at the very end of his administration. When the new administration did not deliver the commission, Marbury sued James Madison, Jefferson's Secretary of State. (At that time the Secretary of State was charged with certain domestic duties as well as with conducting foreign affairs.) Chief Justice John Marshall held that, although Marbury was entitled to the commission, the statute that was the basis of the particular remedy sought was unconstitutional because it gave the Supreme Court authority that was implicitly denied it by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The decision was the first by the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional and void an act passed by Congress that the Court considered in violation of the Constitution. The decision established the doctrine of judicial review, which recognizes the authority of courts to declare statutes unconstitutional.


See R. L. Clinton, Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review (1989).

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References in periodicals archive ?
His name was John Marshall, and he was the chief justice of the Supreme Court when the Marbury v. Madison case was decided in 1803.
His haste also set in motion what would become the first of Marshall's epochal constitutional cases, Marbury v. Madison (1803).
stage for Marbury v. Madison, to the extent that they situate it
THE CENTERPIECE OF THE CONTEST between Marshall and Jefferson was, of course, Marbury v. Madison, and Beveridge constructs a dramatic narrative to highlight Marshall's unexpected triumph.
The Supreme Court decided Marbury v. Madison in 1803, not 1812 (190).
Professor Aditya Bamzai takes us on a historical journey to recover the true meaning of Marbury v. Madison's famous statement that "it is emphatically the province and duty of the [judiciary] to say what the law is." (34) He argues that recent decisions limiting deference to agencies based on Marbury have ignored the statutory analysis in that case.
The Justices declined to offer such advice, stating in a letter to Washington that becoming advisors to the executive without a case before the Court would violate Article Ill's provision extending the judicial power only to "cases and controversies." (18) Another example of such an effort occurred a decade later, and it resulted in what is now the most famous case in American constitutional law--the case of Marbury v. Madison, decided in 1803 and now generally regarded as the foundational precedent for judicial review.
Madison did not realize as he positioned himself in the front of the room in Independence Hall on that late May day that what he then undertook to create would be "Madisons Notes" any more than, say, William Marbury knew in filing for a writ of mandamus against Secretary of State Madison that he was initiating the famous Marbury v. Madison or the widow Martha Dandridge Custis knew she was marrying the world-historic George Washington.
Supreme Court in the July 10-23 NH Business Review ("The high court and history"), Brad Cook wrote that Chief Justice Marshall was impeached after writing Marbury v. Madison, the famous decision establishing judicial review, which is the court's right to rule on the constitutionality of the actions of the legislative and executive branches.
In this book, the author chronicles the life of John Marshall from his birth in Virginia, his Revolutionary War service, the ground breaking decision in Marbury v. Madison establishing the concept of judicial review, and how he used this revolutionary idea to raise the relevance of the Supreme Court from an ineffectual appeals court to a decision making body on par with the Congress and President.
Just as the judiciary must fulfill its Marbury v. Madison function to "say what the law is," (9) cabinet agencies must fulfill their Chevron function to interpret frequently vague and general statutes enacted by Congress.
In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.