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Do Great Cases Make Bad Law?$
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Lackland H. Bloom, Jr.

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765881

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765881.001.0001

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Marbury v. Madison

Marbury v. Madison

(p.1) 1 Marbury v. Madison
Do Great Cases Make Bad Law?

Lackland H. Bloom

Oxford University Press

Chapter One examines the great case of Marbury v Madison in which Chief Justice John Marshall first recognized the concept of judicial review of the constitutionality of congressional legislation. The chapter discusses the tense political context in which Marbury arose with the very real prospect that President Jefferson might defy an adverse decision by the Court. The chapter considers how Marshall created a constitutional conflict that probably need not have existed and suggested that the Court could assert judicial authority over a cabinet officer while ultimately finding no jurisdiction in the specific case before the Court. The chapter speculates as to why Marshall wrote the opinion as he did assessing the views set forth by scholars over the past two hundred years. It also evaluates the impact that this landmark case has had on American constitutional law in a variety of different ways.

Keywords:   Marbury v Madison, Marshall, judicial review, Jefferson, jurisdiction”

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