Marbury v. Madison

Marbury v. Madison, case decided in 1803 by the U.S. Supreme Court. William Marbury had been commissioned justice of the peace in the District of Columbia by President John Adams in the "midnight appointments" at the very end of his administration. When the new administration did not deliver the commission, Marbury sued James Madison, Jefferson's Secretary of State. (At that time the Secretary of State was charged with certain domestic duties as well as with conducting foreign affairs.) Chief Justice John Marshall held that, although Marbury was entitled to the commission, the statute that was the basis of the particular remedy sought was unconstitutional because it gave the Supreme Court authority that was implicitly denied it by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The decision was the first by the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional and void an act passed by Congress that the Court considered in violation of the Constitution. The decision established the doctrine of judicial review, which recognizes the authority of courts to declare statutes unconstitutional.

See R. L. Clinton, Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Marbury v. Madison: Selected full-text books and articles

Marbury v. Madison: The Court's Foundation By Corinne J. Naden; Rose Blue Benchmark Books, 2005
Marbury V. Madison: Bicentennial of a Landmark Decision. (Looking at the Law) By Landman, James H Social Education, Vol. 66, No. 7, November-December 2002
Judicial Review before Marbury By Treanor, William Michael Stanford Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 2, November 2005
Mass Communication Law and Ethics: A Casebook By Roy L. Moore Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Marbury v. Madison begins on p. 8
Constitutional Law in the Political Process By John R. Schmidhauser Rand McNally, 1963
Librarian's tip: "The Cornerstone of Constitutional Law: The Extraordinary Case of Marbury v. Madison, Part I" begins on p. 51, "Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice Marshall for the Court" begins on p. 55, and "The Cornerstone of Constitutional Law: The Extraordinary Case o
The Judicial Process By Henry J. Abraham Oxford University Press, 1968 (2nd Rev. edition)
Librarian's tip: "Spelling It Out: Marbury v. Madison" begins on p. 307
The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics By Alexander M. Bickel Bobbs-Merrill, 1962
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Marbury v. Madison begins on p. 1
The Marbury Mystery: Why Did William Marbury Sue in the Supreme Court? By Bloch, Susan Low Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 18, No. 3, Winter 2001
Judges on Judging: Views from the Bench By David M. O'Brien Chatham House Publishers, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "The Doctrine of Judicial Review: Mr. Marshall, Mr. Jefferson, and Mr. Marbury"
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Judiciary: The Supreme Court in the Governmental Process By Henry J. Abraham Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1991 (8th edition)
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Marbury v. Madison begins on p. 60
The Supreme Court and the Constitution By Charles A. Beard Prentice Hall, 1962
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Marbury v. Madison begins on p. 112
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.