Marbury vs Madison - Summary

When the U.S. Supreme Court issues opinions declaring laws unconstitutional, few question the court’s right to do so. Judicial review - testing legal statutes against the Constitution - is what nine unelected justices do for a living.

 But consider this: What the public takes for granted today did not officially exist until John Marshall became the country’s fourth Chief Justice. The significant power of judicial review was formally created by the court itself in 1803.

Who was John Marshall? What was the case he used to profoundly shape the high court’s destiny? What is his legacy? How would he view judicial activism?

In this story behind the famous case, go back in time to examine life in late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth century America. Discover facts about the hotly contested presidential election of 1800. Meet John Marshall (whom many scholars still consider the most important Chief Justice in American history) and learn about his relationship with Polly, his much-loved wife.

Read the debates as delegates decided what type of Constitution to create for the new country of America. Learn who supported a strong central government and who opposed it. Meet the federalists, and the anti-federalists, and review their respective concerns and publications (such as The Federalist Papers and Letters of Brutus). Examine the background of the Electoral College and what happens when it is deadlocked.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Dec 15, 2017

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"Marbury vs Madison" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2007. Jul 21, 2018.
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