Thirdly, does the Supreme Court have the power to deem acts of Congress unconstitutional? In the words of John Marshall, “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.” Yes, it is the duty of the Supreme Court to determine whether a law or action from both the Executive and Legislative Branch is deemed unconstitutional.
The life of every American citizen, whether they realize it or not, is influenced by one entity--the United States Supreme Court. This part of government ensures that the freedoms of the American people are protected by checking the laws that are passed by Congress and the actions taken by the President. While the judicial branch may have developed later than its counterparts, many of the powers the Supreme Court exercises required years of deliberation to perfect. In the early years of the Supreme Court, one man’s judgement influenced the powers of the court systems for years to come. John Marshall was the chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835, and as the only lasting Federalist influence in a newly Democratic-Republican
The Constitution pays a massive role in court decisions both in the federal and state cases. If the State Supreme Court cannot come to a decision on a case, the case will be turned over to the Supreme Court who has the final authority in interpreting the meaning of the Constitution in any case. The courts also have the power of judicial review—to declare a law unconstitutional. Due to the decision of Chief Justice John Marshall the Supreme Court has this power from the case of Marbury v. Madison in 1801. The case Marbury v. Madison took place during the election of 1800 when Thomas Jefferson defeated President John Adams, but the new administration did not take office until March of 1801. When the new administration took office James Madison (Secretary of State) discovered that some commissions were not delivered. One of the people whose commission had not been received
In America’s time there have been many great men who have spent their lives creating this great country. Men such as George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson fit these roles. They are deemed America’s “founding fathers” and laid the support for the most powerful country in history. However, one more man deserves his name to be etched into this list. His name was John Marshall, who decided case after case during his role as Chief Justice that has left an everlasting mark on today’s judiciary, and even society itself. Through Cases such as Marbury v. Madison (1803) and McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) he established the Judicial Branch as an independent power. One case in particular, named Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), displayed his
In the decision regarding Gibbons v. Ogden, Marshall ruled that a state can't grant a monopoly when it is related to interstate commerce. This gave supremacy to the national government in issues regarding interstate commerce. Through his interpretation of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, John Marshall successfully increased the power of the national government.
Marshall complained that the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” and that the Supreme Court ultimately has the final say so when it comes to evaluating the meaning of the Constitution. Marshall states, “ lt is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” To present Marshall’s initial plea at hand, Marshall argues that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional. In Marshall 's perspective, Congress could not present the Supreme Court with the power to issue an order granting Marbury his commission. Only the Constitution could do so, and the document said nothing about the Supreme Court having the power to issue such an order. Thus, the Supreme Court could not force Jefferson and Madison to appoint Marbury, because it did not have the power to do so.
In this case, Chief Justice Roberts determines the role of the Court in his opinion. Roberts argues that the point of the Court is not to say whether a law is good or bad, if the people do not like the bill, it is their fault. Roberts says, “the responsibility of this Court is to enforce the limits on federal power by striking down the acts of Congress that transgress those limits” (Roberts, pg 6). He also says, “we must determine whether the Constitution grants Congress powers it now asserts, but which many States and individuals believe it does not possess” (Roberts, pg 2). To do so, the Court must examine the limits on the Government’s power and their own limited role in “policing those boundaries” (2). In this case, Roberts says the Court must uphold its constitutionality and the fundamental will of the people.
Established in 1789, the Supreme Court was created to interpret the meaning of the Constitution and to use that interpretation to declare any actions of the Legislative or Executive Branches unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court was capable of also acquiring more functions as evidence of the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison (1803). The case dealt with President John Adams appointing sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Colombia. Adams appointed these justices so that his political party would have more justices than the rival party. Problematically, the appointment letters were not delivered by the end of his term. By that basis, President Thomas Jefferson annulled the appointments because he retained the right to appoint the justices during his time of jurisdiction. Consequently, this aggravated the appointed justice and therefore one of the justices named William Marbury filed a case in the Supreme Court over the commissions that they were promised (Goldstone). The Court ruled that Marbury did have a right to commission and also with it made a statement that enacted the doctrine of Judicial Review. This meant that the court had the "right to review, and possibly nullify, laws and governmental acts that violate the constitution. Judicial Review is a means of assuring that politicians and various other leaders adhere to the constitution and do not use powers granted to them by
In Article 1, section 8 the Constitution states that Congress has the authority “…to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the forgoing powers”. These powers are considered “implied” since they are assumed to be true without being specifically stated. The phrases “Necessary and Proper Clause” and “Elastic Clause” indicate a stretch in the government powers because it allows Congress to expand its right to meet new needs. The concept of implied powers has always been viewed as controversial thus, raising many questions and debates. For example, a famous court case, McCulloch vs. Maryland, was centered on the implied rights of Congress. The question that emerged was whether or not Congress can establish a national bank, and if it did, does Maryland have the authority to tax it. From the creation of the Constitution until this day the topic of implied powers raises as a reoccurring dispute. The concept is open to wide interpretation which created a division between loose constructionists and strict constructionists of the
Another one of Marshall’s major decisions was in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland. “James McCulloch, cashier of the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States, refused to pay a Maryland State tax on the bank. The court first upheld the implied powers of Congress to create a bank, because Congress needed a bank to exercise its specified power. The tax was declared unconstitutional because it interfered with an instrument of the federal government. He ruled that Congress has implied powers in addition to those specified in the Constitution, and when federal and state powers conflict, federal powers prevail” (Kutler, 335).
President John Adams had made many federal appointments. He did this at the very end of his term. One of the appointments was William Marbury. Thomas Jefferson, refused to recognize the appointment of Marbury. The normal practice of making such appointments was to deliver a "commission," or notice, of appointment. This was normally done by the Secretary of State. Jefferson's Secretary of State at the time was James Madison. Madison refused to deliver Marbury's commission. Marbury sued Madison. This led Supreme Court to take the case. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the Judiciary Act of 1789. This act spelled out the practice of delivering commissions for judges and justices of the peace. This was unconstitutional because it the gave
In the extremely bitter presidential election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson ousted John Adams after only one term. In his final days as President, however, Adams appointed several new judicial officers. Shortly afterward, when Jefferson took over as President, he blocked the appointees from assuming office by refusing to deliver the necessary commissions to those who had not yet received them. William Marbury, one of the appointees who did not receive his commission, took his case directly to the Supreme Court. Remarkably, the member of the Administration responsible for delivering the commissions to Marbury and the other appointees was the new Secretary of State – none other than James Madison. Ultimately, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in 1803, in the case of Marbury v. Madison, that although the Jefferson Administration’s decision to withhold the commissions was not legal, the Court had no jurisdiction over the matter because the federal legislation allowing Marbury take his case directly to the Supreme Court (the Judiciary Act of 1789) was itself
If Marshall’s actions were iconic, then after the Marbury v. Madison case, he would have been credited with the creation of judicial review. In reality, Marshall’s decision of allowing the courts to review the decisions of the legislative and executive branches was seen “as only a step in the continuous clarification of the theory of judicial function”(Clinton 117). So this supposed creator of a pivotal Judicial component was only seen as a stepping stone. Through the remainder of Marshall’s career as Chief Justice, no one revisited his thoughts on the Marbury v. Madison case, until his successor, Roger Taney, did in Dred Scott v. Sanford. Roger Taney seemed to have the same viewpoints as Marshall, always trying to keep the checks and balances intact and equal. He kept this dedication through the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, using judicial review to rule the Missouri Compromise of 1820 unconstitutional. Strangely, “Marbury’s importance as a precedent for judicial review of legislation was never mentioned by the Court”(Clinton 119). If Marbury v. Madison was such a pivotal case, then it would
The overall influence of the Supreme Court under John Marshall can be understood through the five main court cases over which he presided; Marbury v. Madison (1803), Fletcher v. Peck (1810), Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), and Gibbons v. Ogden (1824). The first significant case Marshall was faced with was Marbury v. Madison in 1803. In the last few days of his presidency, John Adams appointed members of the Federalist Party to the new offices he created within the judicial branch. When Thomas Jefferson took office he told James Madison, his secretary of state, not to deliver the unsent commissions to some of the “midnight appointments”, one of who was William Marbury. He appealed to the Supreme Court, asking for a court order that would require Madison to send out the commission, which was part of his job. The Judiciary Act of 1789 supported Marbury’s demands because it authorized the Supreme Court to order