Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary

Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary

John Adams (1735–1826), William Marbury (1762–1835), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), James Madison (1751–1836), John Marshall (1755–1835)

Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary
Marbury v. Madison Case – Power of Judiciary – John Vanderlyn painted this 1816 portrait of James Madison, President Jefferson’s secretary of State and the fourth president of the United States.

On February 24, 1803, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, rules in William Marbury v. James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States, confirming the legal principle of judicial review—the Supreme Court’s ability to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional—in the new nation.

The court found that the new president, Thomas Jefferson, was improper to block William Marbury from taking office as judge of the peace for Washington County in the District of Columbia through his secretary of state, James Madison. The court did, however, decide that it lacked jurisdiction in the case and that it could not compel Jefferson and Madison to seat Marbury. The Supreme Court was given jurisdiction by the Judiciary Act of 1789, but the Marshall court concluded that it was an unconstitutional expansion of judicial power into the executive branch.

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