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Connor Behnen 2/13/12 Marbury v.

Madison Issue: Marbury was appointed as justice of the peace in the District of Columbia by John Adams during his lame-duck session. James Madison, who was the Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson, refused to deliver the commission to Marbury. Without the commission, he could not become justice and tend to the duties of justice. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Madison via a writ of mandamus to send him his commission. Facts: John Adams was defeated by Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1800. Before he left office, he appointed 58 federalist judges. The Senate approved these appointments, but to officially go into effect, the Secretary of State had to deliver commissions to the appointees. At the time, it was John Marshall. He delivered as many commissions as he could but could not deliver them all. The task then fell to James Madison after Jefferson swore in as president. However, Madison chose not to deliver the remaining commissions. Marbury was one of the justices awaiting his commission so petitioned the court to receive his commission. Decision: The Court declared in a 4-0 decision that the withholding of Marburys commission was indeed unconstitutional. However, the court also declared that the provision in the Judiciary Act of 1789 that allowed Marbury to bring his case to court was also unconstitutional. The Court declared that it therefore lacked jurisdiction in the case and denied Marburys petition. Reasoning: The court implemented the idea of judicial review. It gave the court power to review policies and legislation relative to the case and, if necessary, nullify such material that is found unconstitutional.

McCulloch v. Maryland Issue: Maryland attempted to impose a tax on all banks not chartered in Maryland. This referred to the only bank not chartered in Maryland, the Second Bank of the United States, a federal bank run by James McCulloch. McCulloch refused to pay the tax and the case was brought to the Supreme Court. Facts: In April of 1816, Congress created the Second Bank of the United States and a year later opened a branch in Baltimore, Maryland. The General Assembly of Maryland then tried to kill of this bank by imposing taxes on all banks not chartered in Maryland. James McCulloch refused to pay the tax. Maryland argued that because the constitution did not grant the federal government the authorization to charter a bank, it could not do it. Decision: In a unanimous decision given by Justice John Marshall, the court ruled that, though the constitution does not give them the specific power to establish a bank, it does give them the power to tax and spend. The court claimed that a bank was a suitable instrument in assisting with these powers. Maryland therefore was wrong in its taxing of the national bank, because it interfered with the banks operations.

Reasoning: The decision in this case led to two very important principles in the United States government. First, the federal government always trumps state government. State activities cant interfere with national activities. Second, the Constitution grants Congress implied powers (powers not directly given) to aid in the implementation of express powers (powers directly spelled out in the Constitution).