John Marshall Court Cases

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Marbury vs. Madison
What was the case: Marbury was a soon-to-be appointed justice of the peace when Adam’s presidency came to an end, resulting in his successor, Thomas Jefferson denying credibility of the appointments because they were not completed during the time of Adam’s presidency. Jefferson’s Secretary of State, James Madison, was asked to allow the commissions. Decision: The Supreme Court denied Marbury’s writ of mandamus and he was denied the commissions. Reasoning: Congress cannot expand the Supreme Court’s power past Article three, and the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus. Significance: The significance of this court case is that it affirmed the judicial review and helped make the judicial branch co-equal with the two other governmental branches.

Fletcher vs. Peck
What was the case: In Georgia, legislators were bribed to allow 30 million acres of land to be sold for less than two cents per acre. This scam was called the Yazoo land scam. In purchasing land from Peck during the Yazoo land buying and selling in Georgia, Fletcher sued Peck for selling land against the 1796 act claiming the land was not yet constitutional impaired by an act in Georgia. Decision: The land was given a clear title to Fletcher and the act was unconstitutional. Reasoning: A law that deems a property unconstitutional established under a previous law is unconstitutional. Significance: This was the first time a state law had been overturned by the Supreme Court.

McCulloch vs. Maryland
What was the case: Maryland enacted a law that requires all banks without a charter from the state to pay a tax and they are prohibited to print money without stamped paper from the state. McCulloch, a cashier in a branch of the Second National Bank in Baltimore, did not pay the taxes, resulting in the suing of McCulloch by Maryland. McCulloch questioned the constitutionality of the act. Decision: McCulloch won.

Reasoning: The Bank of the United States is...
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