Law School Discussion

Marbury v Madison

Marbury v Madison
« on: January 25, 2005, 08:45:32 AM »
Tomorrow we start on Marbury v Madison in my Con Law class...
i am looking for insight from those students who have taken the class already, in preperation for class discussion tomorrow...  if anyone wants to weigh in or discuss the birth of judicial review with me check me on aim CORLI1.




Re: Marbury v Madison
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2005, 10:05:34 AM »
Marbury v Madison

Writ of Mandamus

FACTS: Marbury was appointed a justice of the peace in D.C. by Pres. Adams. The new Secretary of State, (under President Jefferson), Madison was supposed to issue the commission to Marbury, but Madision refused. (Madison wanted his President, Jefferson, to be able to give the job to someone else), Marbury is suing to force Madision to do his duty and issue the commission. Suing to force a government official to do his duty is called filing a Writ of Mandamus.

Congress passed a law (Judiciary Act of 1789), saying that the Supreme Court could issue mandamus against federal officers.

ISSUES: Does Jefferson's man Madison have to do something that the former President ordered? Adams made Marbury a justice of the peace, but Adams lost the election. Can Madison decide to deny Marbury the job so that the new President can give it to someone else? Can the supreme court force Madison?

no the Supreme Court cannot force Madision

Rule: The law passed by Congress "judiciary Act of 1789" which increased the power of the Supreme Court by giving the court mandamus power was in violation of the Constitution. Congress cannot give new jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, so the law is unconstitution and the Supreme Court does not have the power to force Madison to sign Marbury's commission.

The Supreme Court has the power to declare laws unconstitutional

Reasoning: the Constitution has no meaning if Congress can change it. It is the role of the judicial branch of government to say what the law is and the highest court (Supreme Court) defines what the highest law (Constitution), is.

This is a complicated one because Marshall, the chief justice, made up the concept of judicial review (the Supremes can declare Congressional acts unconstitutional), in order to avoid embarassing Jefferson who had put Marshall on the court.

Re: Marbury v Madison
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2005, 05:11:48 PM »
The only thing you need to know is that the Constitution is the highest law of the land, and others laws in conflict can be invalidated.  The Supreme Court declares in this case that they are the men for the job.  Seperation of powers is further defined and the 9 Philosopher Kings consolidate their power.


Re: Marbury v Madison
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2005, 07:26:42 PM »
go to the library and check out the E&E for conlaw (there are two, get the National Power and Federalism title).  It has a really good explanation for M v M including all the various historical bullsh!t and the different tools Marshall uses.