Constitutional Case: "Marbury vs. Madison" Case Study

Constitutional Case: "Marbury vs. Madison"
Looks at the seminal constitutional case of "Marbury vs Madison", which established the right of the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of laws.
# 128470 | 1,000 words | 4 sources | APA | 2008 | EC

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This paper first explains that, on March 2, 1801, two days before he was to leave office, the Federalist President John Adams made out scores of last minute judicial appointments, which were challenged leading to the constitutional case, "Marbury vs Madison". The paper then goes on to present several key legal questions involved in this case and the Supreme Court decision. The paper concludes that Chief Justice Marshall's classic argument in "Marbury vs. Madison" firmly established the ultimate supremacy of the Constitution for all laws held in the U.S., set up the Supreme Court's power of judicial review and authenticated the Supreme Court as a true and powerful organ of the United States government, able to provide fundamental guarantees to the basic rights of the individual and society.

Table of Contents:
Background of "Marbury vs. Madison"
The Constitutional Questions
The Supreme Court's Decision
The Constitutional Significance of "Marbury vs. Madison"

From the Paper:

"If the appointment was binding, what was the proper recourse for the petitioners? Marbury and the others looked for a Mandamus from the Supreme Court, while the Jefferson Administration claimed there was no recourse.
"Was the Supreme Court the proper venue to decide this question? At first blush, it seemed clearly so, as by the Judiciary Act of 1797, and reaffirmed by the Judiciary Act of 1802, the Supreme Court was explicitly named as the body to issue acts of Mandamus. However, the Marshall court decided to review this question as part of their decision."

Sample of Sources Used:

  •'s Law Dictionary (2008), retrieved 25 January 2008, from
  • O'Connor K., & Sabato, L. (2008), American government, continuity and change. New York: Pearson Longman
  • The Oyez Project, (2005) Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, retrieved on January 22, 2008 from
  • Marshall, J., (1803) MARBURY V. MADISON, 5 U. S. 137 (1803), retrieved on January 22, 2008 from

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

Constitutional Case: "Marbury vs. Madison" (2010, July 25) Retrieved March 25, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Constitutional Case: "Marbury vs. Madison"" 25 July 2010. Web. 25 March. 2023. <>