How Did John Marshall Have The Power Of The Supreme Court

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When the Constitution was written and the United States Government formed it consisted of three branches, the Executive, the bicameral Legislative, and the Judicial branch. When the United States Supreme Court was revealed in February 1790 it was little more than an appeals court. It had little power, and met but twice per year. The judicial branch was the weakest of the three branches. It consisted of six justices, with one being the Chief Justice. It did not make bold rulings or take on any cases of controversy. That would change when John Marshall became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It was transformed into a powerfully equal branch of the Federal Government. Over the next 34 years this one man, Chief Justice John Marshall …show more content…

Marshall did not want Jefferson to have his way or vice versa. However, at that point in time the United States Supreme Court had little to no power, other than that of an appeals court. The question before the court was did the Supreme Court have the power to issue a writ of mandamus? Marshall knew that Madison would refuse to deliver the appointments and then the court would not have the power to make him do so. The other issue was if he did not issue the writ then Jefferson would have his way. Marshall came up with an ingenious way of deciding the case and would forever change the Supreme Court into a coequal branch of the government. After ignoring the rule of jurisdiction, Marshall stated that once a President signed a commission and the Secretary of State had recorded them then the appointments were complete. It was also ruled that a writ of mandamus was the appropriate instrument in which to use to accomplish the delivery of the appointments by the Secretary of State. At this point it looks as it Marbury will get his appointment. In spite of this, Marshall then has to answer the question as to whether or not the Supreme Court has the authority to issue the writ. He concluded it did not. The Court having also found that the Judicial Act of 1789 was unconstitutional and therefore null and void. Marshall was refusing to have the Court enter into a political issue on “the grounds that Congress could not constitutionally grant to the Court powers not authorized by the Constitution.” Thus this case established Judicial

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