Kirby asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Marbury v. Madison 1803?

Should the Supreme court have the power to overturn unconstitutional federal laws? i have to Argue whether it should or shouldn't have that power. How could i go about doing that?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    If the Supreme Court didn't have the power to overturn unconstitutional federal laws, then who would? The Supreme Court should have the power of judicial review because it reviews the actions of the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch to see if they acted according with the constitution.

    The Constitution explicitly states that, "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court..." which means that the Supreme Court should be the one to interpret the Constitution and its meaning not other branches because Constitution doesn't give the other branches the judicial power that the Supreme Court holds. Because if the Supreme Court doesn't have the power of judicial review then who does, the states by practicing nullification of federal laws?

    Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha (1983), Congress exercised the legislative veto, (the power to nullify actions of the executive branch or an agency by a simple majority vote) but in the Constitution doesn't mentione a legislative veto or any veto of that kind that entitles Congress to use. So the question is, who should review the actions of Congress? The Executive branch? No, because the Executive Branch enforces legislative passed by Congress, but doesn't overturn unconstitutional legislation after it has been passed. Now the issue rest on the Supreme Court and only to the Supreme Court, which ruled the legislative veto unconstitutional.

    The president also exercise a line-item veto (the process in which the president can delete parts of a bill that he doesn't like) mostly during Clinton's administration was when it was ruled unconstitutional in the Clinton v. City of New York (1998) by the Supreme Court because the Constitution does not give the power of a line-item veto to the president. The only veto that the Constitution does give the president is an original veto rejecting a bill completely or a pocket-veto that are both found in Article I Section 7 of the Constitution.

    Marbury v. Madison was mostly about the midnight appointees by Adams, but what lay in issue was, "Did Congress possessed the power to give the Supreme Court powers not delegated by the Constitution?" When Congress passed the Judicial Act of 1789, it extended the jurisdiction of the Court to allow it to issue writs. I think Congress also gave the Court the power of judicial review, but I'm not sure. When Marbury didn't get his confirmation to become justice for the District of Columbia along with three other justices he went to the Supreme Court to seek his confirmation. The decision was that Marbury and the other justices were entitled to the confirmation to become justices, but the Court lacked the power to do so because parts of the Judiciary Act were unconstitutional, in other words the Court under Marshall practiced judiciary review when it declared that Congress or anyother branch cannot give or take away power from a branch of government that the Constitution gives to a branch, but it can limit the power of other branches like the War Powers Act. The Court stated that the issuing of writs by the Court were unconstitutional as well as giving it the power of judicial review which the Court exercied in this case and in future cases.

    Hope this helps.

    Source(s): Got this from my AP Government book and the US Constitution.
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it is a vital checks and balances system.

    The Constitution does not explicitly grant the Supreme Court the power of judicial review; nevertheless, the power of this Court to overturn laws and executive actions it deems unlawful or unconstitutional is a well-established precedent. Many of the Founding Fathers accepted the notion of judicial review; in Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton wrote: "A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute." The Supreme Court first established its power to declare laws unconstitutional in Marbury v. Madison (1803), consummating the system of checks and balances. This power allows judges to have the last word on allocation of authority among the three branches of the federal government, which grants them the ability to set bounds to their own authority, as well as to their immunity from outside checks and balances.

  • 1 decade ago

    Staisail is right. While the executive branch is most recognized and reviled, the judicial branch carries the most invisible power there is.

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