Woodrow Wilson once referred to the Supreme Court as “a constant constitutional convention in continuous session”, due to the role they have played in interpreting the constitution as it is written. Due to the ambiguity found in much of the phrasing in the constitution, judicial interpretation of the constitution can be considered both necessary and inevitable (Comer, Gruhl et al., 2001). The courts have the power to declare unconstitutional the actions of the other branches and units of the government in what is known as judicial review (Tannahil, 2002). The first case in which the court elaborated on the principle of judicial review was that of Marbury v. Madison in 1803 and put forward that in the case of conflict between the constitution and a statute, it is “the duty of the judicial department to say what the law is” (Smith, 1975). Following this, the case of Fletcher v Peck (1810) is of equal importance as it was the first case in which a state law was declared by the court to be unconstitutional.
In 1803, Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States of America and James Madison was Vice President. In the case Marbury vs. Madison, President Jefferson commanded Madison to fire Judge William Marbury, whom was previously appointed by President John Adams as he was leaving office, along with several other judges. Marbury later sued Madison citing the Judiciary Act of 1798. This act allowed the supreme court to review cases brought against a federal official. William Marbury was a federalist which meant he was in the same political party as Alexander Hamilton and John Adams.
The Supreme Court priorities from the time period of 1790 to 1865 were establishing the Judiciary Act of 1789, which was instrumental in founding the Federal Court System. The framers believed that establishing a National Judiciary was an urgent and important task. After the installation of Chief Justice John Marshall who “used his dominance to strengthen the court 's position and advance the policies he favored” (Baum 20). However, in the decision of the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803 was an example of the power he exuded “in which the Court struck down a Federal statute for the first time” (Baum 20). This created some internal conflict between Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson, however Marshall was able to diffuse this with
The judicial review process is an important aspect of the US Court system. The process involves the use of powers by the Federal Courts to void the congress' acts that direct conflict with the Constitution. The Marbury v. Madison is arguably the landmark case that relates to Judicial Review. The Marbury v. Madison case was written in the year 1803 by the Chief Justice at that time named John Marshall. Thomas Jefferson won an election on the Democratic - Republican Party that had just been formed creating a panicky political atmosphere having defeated John Adams of the previous ruling party. Adams had appointed several justices for the District of Columbia prior to being defeated. The senate had approved the commissions and the commissions signed by the president as well as being affixed with the government's official seal. However, the commissions were not delivered, and when Jefferson took office, he instructed James Madison the Secretary of States not to deliver them. William Marbury who was on the list of appointees petitioned the Supreme Court for a legal order compelling Madison to explain why he was not to receive the commission (Clinton 1994).
Justice Thurgood Marshall Response Justice Thurgood Marshall said in his “Reflections on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution”, “I do not believe the meaning of the Constitution was forever ‘fixed’ at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, that we hold as fundamental as today” (Marshall). In this passage of his essay, Judge Marshall is critical of the government that is
John Marshall had a significant impact on strengthening the national government during his term as Chief Justice from 1800-1830. Marshall achieved this goal by strengthening the power of the Supreme Court in three main court cases. In Marbury v. Madison Marshall established the practice of judicial review, then in McCulloch v. Maryland he weakened the central government and Gibbons v. Ogden provided the federal government with the ability to regulate interstate commerce. Marbury v. Madison (1803) was a court case that began the practice of judicial review. This case started because the night before President John Adams term ended, he appointed 42 justices of the peace.
He expanded the power of the Supreme Court by declaring that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that the Supreme Court Justices were the final deciders. In the Marbury vs. Madison case, Marshall wrote "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” John Marshall was clearly in favor of judicial power, and believed that the Supreme Court should have the final say in cases involving an interpretation of the Constitution. While establishing this, he kept the separation of powers in mind, as he wanted equal representation among the Judicial, Executive, and Legislative branches. In the Marbury vs. Madison, John Marshall declared that the Judicial Branch could not force Madison to deliver the commission.
This case dealt with William Marbury not receiving his commission to be the justice of the peace in the District of Columbia, in 1800. Before the end of his term as president, John Adams appointed many members of his political party to serve in different government position. John Marshall, whom was the Secretary of State under President John Adams, was required to deliver those commissions to the appointed judges, but he failed to deliver the commissions to William Marbury and a few others before leaving office. When the newly elected president, Thomas Jefferson took office in 1801, he informed James Madison, his Secretary of State not
Madison court case that took place in 1803. The law that was declared by the Supreme Court at this hearing was that a court has the power to declare an act of Congress void if it goes against the Constitution. This case took place because President John Adams had appointed William Marbury as justice of the peace in the District of Columbia, and the new president, Thomas Jefferson, did not agree with this decision. William Marbury was not appointed by the normal regulation, which was that the Secretary of State, James Madison, needed to make a notice of the appointment. James Madison did not follow through and make a notice of Marbury’s appointment; therefore, he sued James Madison, which was where the Supreme Court came in place.
The Administration of Justice Act of 1774 was one of five laws passed by the British Parliament and which was known as one of the Intolerable or Coercive Acts. The Boston Massacre of 1770, Tea Tax of 1773, and Boston Tea Party of 1773 led to this act.
The meaning of Article III was left open to interpretation. In 1789, shortly after the Constitution was ratified, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the federal court system. Congress created a Supreme Court, three circuit courts, and 13 district court, one district court for each of the 13 states. The Constitution was not specific about the number of justices that could be appointed to the Supreme Court.
This was known as “originalism.” What Antonin Scalia believed in was adherence to the reading and interpretation of the United States Constitution and applying it to the law of the land, exactly as the framers had wrote it in 1790. Justice Antonin Scalia had been reputable and established himself as the principal defender of the constitutional belief of originalism and how the “original meaning” would apply to the theory and concepts of “originalism.” The dominant principle of original-meaning jurisprudence is that there are various provisions of the United States Constitution, and other laws, that are to be construed in agreement with the meaning they held, at the time they were established by the Framers. What Judge Scalia brought to the Courts was the legitimacy of originalism and how it relates to the very nature of law as commanded.
John Marshall’s Supreme Court hearings had a positive effect on the United States. From court cases like McCulloch v. Maryland, declared that the federal courts could decide if state laws were unconstitutional. The McCulloch v. Maryland trial went to the supreme court because Maryland had put a tax in place that too 2% of all assets of the bank or a flat rate of $30,000. John Marshall saw this tax as unconstitutional for the simple fact that people were being denied their property under the state legislature. From the Gibbons v. Ogden case, congress’s power over interstate commerce was strengthened.
During the Jeffersonian Era, Thomas Jefferson declared that all Americans were Federalists, and Republicans which he claimed that Americans were diverse once he became president. John Marshall, who was Jefferson’s cousin strengthened the government. Through Marbury v. Madison in 1803 where he suggested that the Supreme Court should have judicial review which strengthened perspectives on whether a case was constitutional or not. For the McCulloch v. Maryland case, Marshall gave power of “loose construction” to interpret the constitution in court. Around 1811, Indians were also coexisting with the Americans, the Americans wanted all the land to themselves without having Indians on it so a war in 1812 was initiated which also demonstrated America’s
The Supreme Court decided to choose to hold on to certain provisions given in the 14th Amendment while at the same time it decided to let go certain provisions which it fet were unnecessary. The Privileges and Immunities Clause and Due Process Clause were certain clauses that came up in certain cases and were scrutinized and either adopted or discarded. The Court was thus selective in choosing provisions from the Bill of rights based on the need of the day. Right to a trial by a jury for a serious criminal case was selected by the justice system whereas the Right to a jury in a Civil Case that involved $20 or more was discarded.