Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

marbury v. madison?

okay, i seriously need help with this. i went to wikipedia and i searched all the marbury v. madison stuff, but i just don't seem to understand it. it's all really long to read and it doesn't stick in my head. could someone explain this to me in lamen's terms and tell me why judicial review is so important?


6 Answers

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    I think/hope you want a general explanation, and not an in-depth legal analysis. Here's how I explain it to my Citizenship class:

    In the presidential election of 1800, President John Adams was defeated by Thomas Jefferson. Adams, a Federalist, and Jefferson, a Republican, were political rivals with opposite ideas about how much power the national government should have.

    A few days before Jefferson was to take office, Adams appointed several of his fellow Federalists to positions as judges and justices of the peace. However, it was not possible to deliver the paperwork to all of the judges before Adams presidency ended. When he took office, President Jefferson refused to honor the appointments that had not been delivered while Adams was still president. William Marbury was one of the people whose judgeship was not delivered in time. He and a few others in the same situation sued the United States to get their judgeships. The "Madison" in the case is Jefferson's Secretary of State, James Madison.

    Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court in Marbury vs. Madison. In deciding whether Marbury was entitled to the judgeship, Marshall found/established a Constitutional basis for judicial review.

    Judicial review is the power of the Supreme Court to decide if a law or act of government is constitutional. A constitutional law is one that does not violate or disagree with the Constitution. For example, the First Amendment says we have freedom of religion, meaning you can go to whichever church you choose. If Congress made a law requiring everyone to go to the Baptist church, this would be a violation of the Constitution and the Supreme Court could declare it unconstitutional and strike it down.

    Because laws are usually complicated and lengthy, and because it is not always clear what the Constitution calls for in every situation, we rely on the justices of the Supreme Court to study and interpret laws and the Constitution. The Supreme Court makes the final decision on issues involving interpreting the Constitution.

    Judicial review is important because it gives the Supreme Court the power to "check" the other two branches of the government. Using judicial review, the Supreme Court can strike down an act of Congress or executive order of the President. Thus, judicial review made the power and importance of the judiciary branch equal to that of the other two branches.

    Source(s): Degree in Political Science, law school, Citizenship teacher.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The case Marbury v Madison took place because of the installation of judges to the Federal Judiciary by Pres. John Adams (Federalist). Orders and commissions still had to be distributed when Thomas Jefferson (Republican) became President. Jefferson ordered these commissions withheld, which turned into a big lawsuit which appeared before the Supreme Court, as it involved the government. Marbury would not receive his commission for Justice of the Peace (in DC) and the case would establish the principle of Judicial Review. Judicial Review gives the courts power to review laws and make sure that they are constitutionally acceptable. It, in a sense, provided one more check and balance for the newly formed United States government.

  • 1 decade ago

    Marbury v. Madison = judicial review

    And that's an important one to remember.

    Judicial review is the power of the Judicial branch of the government to assess the constitutionality of actions of the other two branches.

    A simplified, but not precisely correct, answer is that it is the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional.

    Source(s): AP Government
  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Judicial review is important because it is a critical part of the checks and balances system between the three branches of government. By giving the judiciary the ability to reject laws as unconstitutional we have a way to make sure the legislature and the executive branches of government don't run amok.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To sugar coat the whole thing, Judicial Review is essential because it decides if a law is unconstitutional or not. It really is not that hard. What grade are you in?

  • 1 decade ago

    judicial review showed that courts can show that laws are unconstitutional and send them to the congress to be amended

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