The Election of 1800

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Marbury vs. Madison 1803

The Election of 1800

The Election of 1800 pitted Federalist ____________ vs. Democratic-Republican ____________. One major difference between the two parties was that the Federalists believed in a strong _____________________, while the Democratic-Republicans believed in a loose confederation of _______. This election set the very important precedent of _______________________________________________________________________________.

Midnight Judges

The Federalist-controlled Congress & Adams created the Judiciary Act of 1801, which created more ____________, which they filled with Federalist ______. Federal judges are appointed for _______. Congress Jefferson and the DRs were furious about this because ______________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________.

Lead up to Marbury vs. Madison

Adam’s Secretary of State, _______________, was supposed to deliver letters (commissions) to each of these new judges officially granting them their new judicial position. He left a few of the letters to be delivered by the new Secretary of State, _________________. The new President, ________________, told __________ to hold the letters and not deliver them. ________________ was one of those who did not receive his commission and he sued James Madison, trying to force the delivery of the commission.

Three big questions…

  1. Does Marbury have a right to his ______________?

  2. If he has a right, does he have a remedy? (Re-write this question in your own words: _______________


  1. If he has a remedy, is it an order by this Court (writ of mandamus) granting him his commission?

The Ruling

The new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, ___________________, delivered the ruling. Yes, it’s the same Marshall who did not deliver the letter in the first place.

Marshall ruled that ____________ should be given his commission, but Marshall could do nothing about it because the Supreme Court did not have original ______________. In other words, Marbury did not have the right to come straight to the Supreme Court. He should have gone through the lower courts first.
Marbury sued under a section of the Judiciary Act of 1789. Marshall ruled that section violated Article ____ of the Constitution. So, what do we do when a law is in conflict with the Constitution? Marshall ruled that if that happens, the _____________ wins. It was the first time this had ever happened.

This ruling created the precedent known as __________ ___________.

Judicial Review is the power of the courts to rule that a law is ___________________.

Many say that it was this ruling that made the judicial branch an _________ branch of government. Others have said that it has allowed the court to become too ________________.

"It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." –Chief Justice John Marshall

Explain Marshall’s words in your own words: ____________________________________________________


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