The Supreme Court Asserts The Right Of Judicial Review

1803

Outgoing President John Adams signs the commission for William Marbury to become a justice of the peace in Washington, D.C., but the incoming Secretary of State James Madison refuses to deliver the commission. Marbury files a writ directly with the Supreme Court, as the law permits, demanding his commission. Chief Justice John Marshall in his opinion in Marbury v. Madison declares the law that permitted Marbury to appeal to the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. This marks the first instance in which the Supreme Court claims the right of judicial review over acts of Congress.