Marbury V. Madison

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1. Caption and Procedural History
Marbury v. Madison, Supreme Court of the United States, 1803 Justice Marshall wrote the majority opinion; he was joined by Paterson, Chase, and Washington. Justice Cushing and Moore did not participate. This case was originally tried in the Supreme Court of the Unites States. Marbury requested the Supreme the Court issue a writ of mandamus to compel James Madison to deliver the commissions issued by former President John Adams. 2. Facts

Just before finishing his term, former President John Adams named forty-two justices of the peace and sixteen new circuit court justices for the District of Columbia, William Marbury was one of these named justices. Their nominations were confirmed by the senate and their commissions had been signed by John Adams, before he left office, but the commissions were not delivered before the expiration of Adams’s term. Testimonies submitted by witnesses proved the existence of the commissions. The incoming president, Thomas Jefferson, appointed James Madison as secretary of state. As secretary of state, Madison refused to deliver the confirmations of Marbury and three others. 3. Issues

1. Does Marbury have a right to his commission?
2. Can Marbury recovery damages (remedy) from being denied his commission? 3. If Marbury does deserve a remedy, can the Supreme Court issue writs of mandamus?

4. Holding
1. Yes, the opinion of the court is that when a commission has been signed by the president, the appointment is made; and the commission is complete when the seal of the Unites States has been affixed to it by the secretary of state. 2. Yes, for every violation of a vested legal right, there must be a legal remedy. 3. No, the Supreme had original jurisdiction of the case and therefore cannot enforce a writs of mandamus? 5. Reason/Rationale

In regards to the first issue, the court found that “the discretion of the executive is to be exercised until the...
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