1.Why did Madison deny Marbury his
-James Madison acted under the
orders of the President Thomas Jefferson, to not deliver the commission.
2.Why does Justice Marshall say
that Marbury has a legal right to his commission but that the Supreme Court is
not the correct court for his desired remedy?
-Justice Marshall states that Marbury does have a legal right
to commission but that the Supreme Court is not the correct court because it
does not have original jurisdiction. According to the Constitution, the Supreme
Court can obtain original jurisdiction involving, “ambassadors, other public
ministers and consuls.” In this case none of these apply to the Marbury. As a
result, the jurisdiction doesn’t fall on the Supreme Court.
3.From Marshall’s viewpoint which
court would be the correct court?
-From Marshall’s point of view the
correct court would be the appellate court.
4.What characteristics does
Marshall argue distinguish provisions of the Constitution from laws passed by
the legislative branch?
-Marshall argues that the
constitution is made to limit the power of legislative branch. If the
legislative branch passed a law that changes the constitution, like the Act of
1789, doesn’t that undermine the very purpose of the Constitution to limit the
power of the respective branch.
5.What is the special role for the
Supreme Court in interpreting the U.S. Constitution? Where is this special role found in the U.S.
-The special role for the Supreme Court in interpreting the
U.S. constitution is the power of judicial review. This ability allows the
Supreme Court to decide whether or not the acts of the executive or legislative
violate the constitution.
6.Why can’t Congress and the President interpret for
themselves their powers under the Constitution?
-Congress and the President cannot interpret for themselves
their powers under the Constitution because they may interpret for their own
self-interest. Also because it can result in chaos within the system because
one branch will seek to gain more control over the other.
7.What are the strongest arguments
Marshall makes in support of the Supreme Court having the power of judicial
-One of the strongest arguments that Marshall makes is that
the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Supreme Court having
judicial power secures that the other branches have limited power. This is the
case since there is a supreme law of the land; all other branches cannot over
step their boundaries and must adhere to it.
8.Do you think Marshall’s opinion
provides a just outcome for Marbury? Is
it a wise decision given the circumstances?
Is it a compelling decision?
-I do not believe that Marshall’s opinion provides a just
outcome for Marbury. I believe this is the case because Marbury did have the
right to commission. Marbury did fulfill the nomination, appointment and
commission. It was a wise decision given the circumstances because Marshall
didn’t want a direct clash with the administration of Jefferson, which could
have resulted in negative ramifications. It is a compelling decision because Marbury
did have the right to the commission. Even besides the fact that the Judicial
Act of 1789 passed by legislation, did give the authority to the Supreme Court
to issue the writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court made the decision that it did
not have the authority, based on the Constitution.
9.In assessing the case, were the political
factors more important than the constitutional factors?
-The political factors were more important than the
constitutional factors. In assessing the case, if Chief Marshall didn’t have
political ties to the Federalist Party, he wouldn’t have been in a compromised
situation. In addition, in a time of political tension between the branches he
was in a peculiar situation to escalate the political climate. Chief Marshall
didn’t want a direct clash with the administration of Jefferson but also he
didn’t want to upset the political ties he had. Furthermore, the political
factors put the whole court in a situation to appease the political pressures.