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? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Marbury vs Madison???

Please can someone summarize what the case was about I keep reading about it but still dont understand it, can u include this in ur explaination



facts (if possible)



and conclusions?

if u can do any of those that would be great please hlep

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Essentially, the issue boiled down to this: William Marbury and a group of other men had been appointed justices of the peace in the District of Columbia by outgoing president John Adams under the Judiciary Act of 1801. Their commissions had been signed by Adams and sealed with the seal of the United States, but had not been delivered by the time Adams left office. Delivery of such commissions was apparently the responsibility of the secretary of state, who at the time of the dispute was James Madison, a good friend and ally of the incoming president, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson and Adams had become bitter enemies over the issues of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and other matters, so Jefferson ordered Madison not to deliver the commissions. Marbury and friends sought a mandamus, or command from the court, under the Judiciary Act of 1801 (see citaton #1 below), ordering Madison to deliver the commissions.

    "Marbury was an ardent Federalist, active in Maryland politics and aligned with John Adam's wing of the party. He supported an effort to change the way the Electoral College electors were selected in Maryland; a change that might have defeated Thomas Jefferson and put John Adams back in the White House for another four years. It is entirely understandable that Jefferson and Madison were united against him and that they would not have delivered the commission even if ordered to by the Supreme Court." (see citaton # 2 below)

    Obviously, William Marbury and friends were political enemies of Jefferson and his cadre of loyalists.

    To the court, the matter revolved around four issues:

    1. Were the commissions legally obtained and processed?

    2. Does section 13 of the Judiciary Act authorize the court to issue the requested mandamus?

    3. Is section 13 of the Judiciary Act constitutional or unconstituional?

    4. If section 13 is not constitutional, does the court have the authority to rule the law void?

    In its ruling, the Supreme Court said that although the appointment(s) had been made and duly processed properly, the law allowing the issuance of a mandamus in this case was flawed, because it unconstitutionally extended the authority of the court. Hence, the petitioners could not use the law to force delivery of their commissions. Marbury and his friends were denied their commissions, and by articulating the aguments laid out in Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall and his colleagues on the Supreme Court established the principle of judicial review, whereby the courts are the supreme arbiters of the meaning of the laws of the land.

    I suggest you do further reading and study on your own. This is a rather sketchy outline of the facts of the case, and more details may be warranted.

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