Wednesday, February 24, 2010


On this date in 1803, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Marbury v. Madison, established the principle of judicial review.

From Wikipedia:
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803) is a landmark case in United States law. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution.

This case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed by President John Adams as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents, but the court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, denied Marbury's petition, holding that the part of the statute upon which he based his claim, the Judiciary Act of 1789, was unconstitutional.

Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something "unconstitutional," and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the "checks and balances" of the American form of government.

See? One of the things I hope to do via Inner Toob is to show that TV can be educational - the case was dramatized as one of the episodes in 'Equal Justice Under Law', which was produced in 1977 by the Judicial Conference of the United States in conjunction with WQED in Pittsburgh.

I've already featured
Chief Justice John Marshall this year in the "As Seen On TV" spotlight, but here are the other members of the Supreme Court in 1803:

Unfortunately, the producers of that series didn't see fit to include the names of the actors in each episode. EG Marshall as the host was easily recognizable, and Thomas Jefferson was played by James Noble who went on to fame in 'Benson' as the governor. Otherwise, I've only been able to hunt down the names of the actors who played Chief Justice Marshall and former Vice-President Aaron Burr. I have no clue who the actors are who played these gentlemen.

But at least I've included the links to their Wikipedia entries so that you might learn more about them.

There may be a quiz later.....


No comments: