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Why Did John Marshall Not Believe It Was Legal to Side with Marbury

Why Did John Marshall Not Believe It Was Legal to Side with Marbury

by: cFadmin

It is the third part of the opinion that raises a dilemma: if Marshall decides to grant the appeal and order the surrender of the orders, he risks simply being ignored by his rivals, exposing the young Supreme Court as powerless to enforce its decisions and undermining its future legitimacy. But siding with Madison would have been seen as giving in to political pressure – an equally damaging outcome, especially for Marshall, who viewed the court as an impartial institution. The final solution is seen by many scholars as a delicate balance of these interests: Marshall ruled that the Supreme Court could not order the delivery of commissions because the law establishing such a power was itself unconstitutional. Louise Weinberg, “Marbury v. Madison: A Bicentennial Symposium,” 89 Va. L. Rev. 1235 (2003), law.utexas.edu/faculty/uploads/publication_files/ourmarburypub.pdf The conclusion of this reasoning is that if department heads are the political or confidential agents of the executive branch, solely to carry out the will of the president, or rather to act in cases where the executive branch has constitutional or legal discretion, nothing could be clearer than that their actions are only politically verifiable. But if a particular obligation is assigned by law, and individual rights depend on the fulfilment of that obligation, it seems equally clear that the person who feels aggrieved has the right to resort to the laws of his country to remedy it. Marbury v. Madison, in which the U.S. Supreme Court first declared an act of Congress unconstitutional on February 24, 1803, establishing the doctrine of judicial review.

The court`s opinion, drafted by Chief Justice John Marshall, is considered one of the foundations of American constitutional law. The signature [of the Chairman] shall justify the affixing of the Great Seal to the Commission, and the Great Seal may be affixed only to a complete instrument. Commission pass-through is a practice guided by convenience, but not by law. It cannot therefore be necessary to make the appointment which must precede it, which is the mere act of the President. After ruling that it was unconstitutional, the Court struck down section 13 of the Judicial Act in the U.S. Supreme Court`s first statement on the power to conduct judicial review. [8] [30] The Court held that U.S. federal courts have the power to deny any effect to an act of Congress that is inconsistent with its interpretation of the Constitution – a measure known as “strike laws.” [31] [Marbury v. Madison] is a masterpiece of indirection, a shining example of Marshall`s ability to dodge dangers while seeming to woo them. The danger of a head-on collision with the Jeffersonians was averted by the denial of jurisdiction: but at the same time, the statement that the commission was unlawfully detained removed any impression that the court approved of the government`s conduct.

These negative maneuvers were artistic feats in themselves. But the smell of genius becomes evident when Marshall, who is not satisfied with having saved a bad situation, seizes the opportunity to expound the doctrine of judicial review. It is easy for us to see in retrospect that the occasion was golden. but only a judge in Marshall`s judgment could have discerned it. [45] In the order in which the Court dealt with this issue, the following issues were considered and decided: The Constitution of the United States confers on the President certain important political powers in the exercise of which he must exercise his own discretion and is accountable to his country only in its political character. and to his own conscience. In order to assist him in the exercise of these functions, he is empowered to appoint certain officials who act according to his authority and in accordance with his orders. The essence of civil liberty certainly lies in the right of every individual to avail himself or herself of the protection of the law whenever he or she is violated. One of the first duties of government is to provide this protection. The U.S. government has been categorically referred to as the government of laws, not the people. He will certainly cease to deserve this high title if the laws do not provide for a remedy for infringement of an acquired legal right.

Marshall wrote for the Court in 1803 and answered the first two questions in the affirmative. The Marbury commission was signed by the president and sealed by the foreign secretary, he noted, which stipulated an appointment that could not be revoked by a new executive. Marbury`s failure to pay the commission therefore infringed Marbury`s statutory right to the charge. Criticism of Marshall`s opinion at Marbury generally falls into two general categories. [50] First, some criticize Marshall`s “trying” to conclude that the U.S. Supreme Court has constitutional authority over other branches of the U.S. government. Search for teaching activities that include this document or create your own online activities. This led Marshall to the third question: Did the Supreme Court have sufficient jurisdiction in the case to issue the writ of mandamus? [24] The answer depended entirely on the Court`s interpretation of the text of the Courts Act of 1789. Congress had passed the Judiciary Act to establish the U.S. federal judicial system, since the U.S.

Constitution prescribes only a Supreme Court and leaves the rest of the U.S. federal judiciary in “such subordinate courts as Congress may decree and establish from time to time.” [25] Section 13 of the Justice Act defines the initial and appellate powers of the Supreme Court. Marbury and his lawyer, former Attorney General Charles Lee, argued that the commission`s signing and sealing had completed the transaction and that the handover was merely a formality anyway. But formality or not, without the piece of parchment itself, Marbury could not enter the functions of the function. Despite Jefferson`s hostility, the court approved Marbury v. Madison, during his term in February 1803. When Jefferson took over the White House, he was angered by Adams` last-minute attempt to fill federal courts with political allies. He instructed his own Secretary of State, James Madison, to withhold the four undelivered orders.

Marbury filed a lawsuit to get his job. As Georgetown University jurist Susan Low Bloch writes, Marbury could have gone to the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, where he might have had a better chance of winning based on that court`s previous decisions. But instead, he went straight to the Supreme Court and filed a lawsuit and ordered Madison to give them their orders. But the third issue has become even more complicated. The Supreme Court`s ability to hear the Marbury case directly was based on part of the Judicial Act of 1789, which gave the court the power to issue injunctions directly to federal office-holders without requiring a plaintiff to go through a lower court. But, as Marshall wrote, Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution already stipulated that the court had first-instance jurisdiction over limited types of cases involving “ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those to which a state must be a party,” and could only function as a court of appeal in all others. The expansion of the Supreme Court`s jurisdiction by Congress was therefore unconstitutional.

The Constitution gave Congress the power to impeach and impeach officials, including judges or the president himself. The president was given veto power to restrict Congress and the power to appoint members of the Supreme Court with the advice and approval of the Senate. In this complex system, the role of the Supreme Court was not defined. It was therefore incumbent upon a strong Chief Justice like Marshall to complete the triangular structure of the separation of powers by introducing the principle of judicial review.

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