Marbury v. Madison case became one of the most well-known court cases of all
time. At the conclusion of this case, the Supreme Court of the United States was
finally given the authority to determine an act of Congress unconstitutional. Chief
Justice John Marshall not only formulated the doctrine of judicial review, but
also established on of the foundations of constitutional law. This brought
forth the major debate we know today. Who has the authority to decide what the
constitution means? The Supreme Court should be entitled to judicial review in
order to prevent an unbalance of power within the branches of government, which
could lead to major disorder.
creating three branches of government, a “check and balance” system was
built within the Constitution. This system was formulated so that no one branch
could have too great of power over another. By utilizing this system, each
branch of government withholds some control over the other branches. The
executive can veto legislation passed by Congress. However, Congress can then
override a veto by a two-thirds majority vote. The federal courts can rule on
the constitutional validity of a legislative act. If the Supreme court did not
have this power, Congress would not only have the power of creating new laws,
but also the power of interpreting these laws while being entitled to
overriding any veto from the executive branch.
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Judiciary Act of 1789 was declared unconstitutional within the Marbury v.
Madison case. The Supreme Court found that Section 13 of the Judiciary Act was
unconstitutional since it claimed to increase the original jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court, beyond what the Constitution allowed. Congress cannot pass laws
that are in defiance with the Constitution. The role of the judicial system is to interpret
what the Constitution permits, in order to avert the Executive branch from
having too much power.
Justice John Marshall said “If two laws conflict with one another, the courts
must decide on the operation of each”. The U.S Constitution is the supreme law
of the land, to which no law or action can be contradictory to. In addition,
the court can only review a law once a person has brought forth a case or
lawsuit that obtains questioning. It is the lower courts in which cases are
brought forth by the people, and only then can a law be presumed to be
unconstitutional. If Congress had the power to create laws, appeal any veto, and the power to interpret the law, then
too much power would reside within the legislative and executive branches, and
an entire new system would have to be formulated. The Supreme Court has to “check”
all the other branches to prevent disorder and, and withstand the power from the
federal court decisions have a very important impact on legislative and
executive actions, policy, and law. In civil law tradition, judges within the
courts are seen as those who merely apply the law, with having no power to
create, or demolish legal rules. The doctrine of judicial review has become an
important check on the powers and authority of the other two branches of
government by the judiciary. The Supreme Court is, as it should be, the “final
arbiter” of the law of the land.