Marbury v. Madison

Equal Justice Under Law

Marbury v. Madison (1st in a 4 part series).

Dramatizations of historic decisions from the courtroom of America’s great Chief Justice, John Marshall.

Who determines what the Constitution means—what is and is not constitutional?

In this 1803 case the Supreme Court established its responsibility to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress. President John Adams appointed Federalist William Marbury as justice of the peace, but failed to deliver Marbury’s official commission before President Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans took over the administration. Marbury asked the Supreme Court to order Jefferson’s Secretary of State, James Madison, to deliver the commission. Marbury’s demand precipitated a confrontation between Chief Justice Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson. The Supreme Court held that it did not have jurisdiction and declared that the law permitting the Court to hear the case was unconstitutional.

Purchase of the tape of this video was made possible through a contribution by Joseph Kulhavy.

Duration : 0:33:32

Post Author: mark

25 thoughts on “Marbury v. Madison


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    a major landmark US …
    a major landmark US decision.

    New Zealand courts have no ability to review and strike down unconstitutional legislation, obviously because there is no written constition here.

    Some have argued there exists a residual inherent, or assumed common law jurisdiction to do so. However, this argument remains purely academic.

    Perhaps one day, if the NZ parliament were to enact extreme legislation, a court of superior jurisdiction might be forced to rule on it.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    marbury is rocking …
    marbury is rocking that unibrow…


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)



    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    BAAAAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!! OMG! AHAHAHAH! Too funny, man… too funny!


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    “Is it madness Mr. …
    “Is it madness Mr. President?”



    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    yay poli sci …
    yay poli sci classes! videos like these really are amazing for that purpose… I’m doing the same thing right now, only mine’s in about 3 hours!


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    yay for this vid! …
    yay for this vid! it has officially helped me with the poli sci test i have to take tomorrow morning.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    eh.. the Court only …
    eh.. the Court only didn’t have the jurisdiction because Marshall said that Section 13 of the Judiciary Act was unconstitutional. Most scholars agree that it wasn’t and the Court did in fact have jurisdiction. Marshall was just trying to avoid a heated political battle.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    If Marbury Vs …
    If Marbury Vs Madison didnt happen, the power of judicial review would have come up again in Gibbons vs Ogden.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    I second ur comment …
    I second ur comment, it may have it’s faults but it’s still the best system till this day.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    Lo que nadie sabe …
    Lo que nadie sabe es que tanto Marbury como Madison eran gays, y a su vez, Madison estaba enamorado de Jefferson. Esto fue lo que desato el conflicto. El caso en verdad deberia llamarse “Marbury y Madison por siempre”, for ever… como oportunamente lo dijo Adams.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    Actually, Chief …
    Actually, Chief Justice Marshall said Yes.
    His ruling regarding the constitutionality was correct, However:
    After the case, he urged Jefferson to grant them, but the President decided to be a douche about it and continued to ignore them.

    You failed to address the comment entirely.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    Every American …
    Every American should watch this vid and read the actual decision (it can easily be found on the net).

    For all the faults of democracy, our system is still the best the world has ever seen. God Bless America.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    why dont u pass out …
    why dont u pass out condoms instead to get rid of people like u


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    this was great ! Im …
    this was great ! Im going to pass Con Law now!!!


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    The supreme court …
    The supreme court didn’t have jurisdiction to see the case. Wich means, they didnt have the power to decide the case. Although they thought that the commisions were rightfully theirs the couldnt do anything about it.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    If the power of …
    If the power of judicial review were given to the people, what good would the constitution be? The constitution was written to protect the nation from the idiots that sit in Congress. Although some Supreme Court Justices “legislate from the bench,” their actual job is to apply the Constitution as it was written, not as the people feel it should be now. The Constitution was written to impede change.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    Oh yes! this video …
    Oh yes! this video brings me great joy, it makes my belly all rumbley umbeley


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    Nowhere does the …
    Nowhere does the Constitution say which Branch has judicial review of the Constitution. It does, however, enumerate only the powers that gov’t may have. The power of judicial review was stolen from The People by this court; in effect making SCOTUS a dispicable tyrant that rules from the Bench On High. Great work if you can get it, and let’s see…who’s eligible? That’s right: Lawyers. Lawyers produce NOTHING! Who regulates lawyers? The ABA: MORE lawyers. No wonder Congress is screwed


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    The ability to …
    The ability to explain such a complex subject in a visual and detailed manner such as this is one of great manner. It not only presents a visual reinactment of the event, but also a different teaching tool to be used for students such as myself. I encourage the makers of this video to continue to use their gift. I thank the Lord for your wonderful gift, and pray for its continued helpfulness. Thank you once more and God bless 🙂


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    No, the Judiciary …
    No, the Judiciary Act of 1789 which gave the power to the courts to hear a case on and issue such a commision flys in the face of article 3 section 2 of the constitution as the Supreme court only has original jurisdiction over cases involving embassadors and what not. Therefore, because the Judiciary Act is at odds with the language of the constitution, Marshall was right to stike the act as UNCONSTITUTIONAL


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    I think the …
    I think the justices should have got their commissions


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    This is an …
    This is an incredible dramaization, though I’m not sure of the hairstyles being entirely accurate, at least from what I’ve seen from portraits. Oh, well:) Fantastic anyway:) Thanks for posting!


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    this is great!!! …
    this is great!!! those in the legal profession should view this video.


    (February 1, 2010 - 9:41 pm)

    Thank you kindly …
    Thank you kindly John Marshall. Thank you Public Resource for posting this! Funny and informative too!

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