US Supreme Court Study Guide

Topics: United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Congress Pages: 4 (806 words) Published: August 15, 2014
Caselist
Marbury v. Madison
SO WHAT?
This formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. The landmark decision helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the American form of government.

PROBLEM?
Johns Adams was about to stop being president so he tries to do a whole lot and appoints a bunch of justices of the peace (one of them was Marbury). James Madison refused to give them their jobs and 4 of them (one of them Marbury) sued them. John Marshall is chief justice. It’s a weird situation because either way will go bad for him – if he rules for Marbury and pres had to give guy his job then there was a risk that president wouldn’t listen which means that would ruin supreme court legitimacy. If he ruled for madison then that would increase legitimacy of SCOTUS.

SOLUTION
Marshall sees that Marbury took to SCOTUS first and he questioned whether they had jurisdiction on the issue or not. When Congress modified powers of supreme court, the Congress did not have jurisdiction to modify powers of the branches. Only way to modify powers is to amend the Constitution. “Sorry Mr. Marbury, we can’t do anything for you as we don’t have jurisdiction.” Case was dismissed and created precedent for judicial review.

McCulloch v. Maryland
PROBLEM?
Maryland tried to stop operation of Second Bank of US by taxing all notes not chartered in Maryland. They wanted to destroy the bank. As the Second Bank of the US was the only non-Maryland based bank in Maryland, this was obviously targeting the US bank.

SOLUTION
The Court allowed the Federal government to pass laws not expressly provided for in the Constitution's list of express powers, provided those laws are in useful furtherance of the express powers of Congress under the Constitution. They declared these “implied powers” and this strengthened federal authority.

SO WHAT?
This established two...
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