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

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Bush v. Schiavo (2004)

Florida Supreme Court
8/31/2004, C-SPAN Product ID: 183214-1
Posted with permission per C-SPAN’s fair use policy.

From C-SPAN’s Description:

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Jeb Bush v. Michael Schiavo. Mr. Schiavo is the husband and legal guardian of Terri Schiavo, who suffered cardiac arrest and fell into a coma in 1990, resulting in brain damage. Michael Schiavo received permission from a Florida trial court to disconnect his wife’s feeding tube and allow her to die. Terri Schiavo’s parents, the Schindlers, are fighting Michael Schiavo and that original court decision in order to keep her alive. They disagree that Terri Schiavo is in a “persistent vegetative state.”

In October 2003, the Florida legislature passed what is known as “Terri’s Law,” which allowed Governor Jeb Bush to issue an executive order to keep Terri Schiavo alive. Earlier this year, the Florida Second District Court of Appeal struck down “Terri’s Law.” Governor Bush appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. At issue is whether this law is a violation of the separation of powers and the Florida state constitution.

Robert Destro, a professor at Catholic University, argued Governor Bush’s case; Michael Schiavo’s attorney was George Felos of Dunedin, Florida. Each spoke for 20 minutes before the justices.

Duration : 0:43:15

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