Supreme Court Case, Essay Example

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Essay

The case of William Marbury vs. James Madison, Secretary of State of the USA was a landmark case in US law.  The decision from the case helped in the determination of the boundaries between constitution and the judicial branches of US Government.  The case derived as the result of a petition from William Marbury, previously appointed a JP by John Adams, but his commission subsequently not confirmed. He appealed to obtain these documents being forwarded from James Maddison the Secretary of State. In the first instance the courts found that the refusal to deliver such documents by Maddison was illegal and remedial.  Nevertheless, the Court did not compel Madison to hand them over by the writ of mandamus.  Instead they instructed that according to the Judiciary Act 1879 this appeal should be made through the Supreme Court.  That was deemed subsequently unconstitutional and the petition denied.  (Exploring Consitutional Conflicts 2012).

The JP commissions were signed and sealed by John Adams as President prior to his expiration in office and the new President Thomas Jefferson taking office.  This Jefferson did not support these appointments considering them invalid as they had failed to be delivered before Adams left office.  It was William Marbury that tried to enforce delivery by applying for the writ of mandamus to the Supreme Court.  Justice Marshall in the Supreme Court held the following important legal precedents:

  • Marbury had the right for his appointment to be upheld;
  • The law is capable of granting Marbury a remedy
  • The Supreme Court has the right to view acts of congress to ensure that they are constitutional.

Nevertheless the Supreme Court does not have the right to issue writs of mandanus and subsequently the writ was denied and Marbury did not get the commission. (Lawnix 2012).

Works Cited

Exploring Consitutional Conflicts. William Marbury Vs. James Madison. 2012. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/marbury.HTML (accessed 5 21, 2012).

Lawnix. Marbury v. Madison – Case Brief Summary. 2012. http://www.lawnix.com/cases/marbury-madison.html (accessed 5 21, 2012).

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