John Marshall Checks And Balances

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There are many checks and balances put into place by The Constitution, but one extremely important check was not in effect until after Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. This is the power given to the Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Marshall to declare laws made by Congress unconstitutional (“John Marshall”, 2016). This check was deemed necessary by the vague eighteenth clause in Article One, Section Eight of The Constitution giving Congress the power to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” The intention of this paper is to define what this clause means…show more content…
Two years prior, President John Adams had hastily appointed Marbury to the Supreme Court on his last night in office, in order to secure the Supreme Court for the Federalists. However, when Adams was replaced with Republican Thomas Jefferson, the new president dismissed these so-called midnight judges (Schweikart & Allen, 2004). Marbury was one of the dismissed, and he came to Justice Marshall demanding that he be reappointed to the Supreme Court. While Marshall could not order the president to have the Secretary of State, James Madison reinstate Marbury, he invented a check that ensured the House of Representatives would never wield unfettered power. Marshall assumed for the Supreme Court the power to declare laws passed by the other branches unconstitutional. By doing this, Marshall made the Supreme Court far more powerful and influential than before (“John Marshall”, 2016). Marbury vs. Madison was the first step in inventing this momentous check and creating more balance between the three branches of…show more content…
Comstock, the Supreme Court was petitioned to examine the constitutionality of Congress’s claim that their actions were protected by the necessary and proper clause. It was reviewed by many federal courts of appeals, but ultimately it was deemed constitutional (Richey, 2009). The Supreme Court challenged Congress’s laws and decisions, and although they declared this situation constitutional, they could easily have called it unconstitutional and forced Congress to revoke its law or decision. That is the power John Marshall granted the Supreme Court back during Marbury vs. Madison. He made The Constitution the ultimate authority over the “will of the majority” (“John Marshall”, 2016, para. 5), and any law passed either by the people themselves or the people’s representatives “could not supersede the Constitution” (“John Marshall”, 2016, para. 5). The Supreme Court had the final say on whether the government was continuing to act under the authority of The Constitution or not (“John Marshall”,
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