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Constitutional Law I
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Kannar, George

THE SUPREME COURTS AUTHORITY AND ROLE:
A. THE POWER OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
MARBURY V. MADISON (P.2) – MARSHALL
Facts: Marbury gets appointed by Adams and Jefferson wont deliver his commission – a writ of mandamus is issued. Marbury brought the issue to the supreme court to compel Madison to deliver the commission.
Issue: Does the constitution give the supreme court the authority to review acts of congress and declare them void if they are repugnant to the constitution.
Rule: Article 3 provides that “supreme court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and counsels, and where a state is a party. In all other cases, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction – marbury argues that it contains no restrictive words – the power to assign oritingal jurisdiction to ehte courts remains in the legislature.
Holding: Yes. Supreme court has this power under article 6 section 2 of the constitution. The government of us is a government of laws, not of men, and the president is given certain political powers by the const which he may use at his discretion. To aid the president he can appoint certain officers to carry out his orders, their acts as officers are his acts and are never subject to examination by the courts. In this case, Marbury had a right to the commission, and madisons refusal to deliver it violated the right – clearly warranting mandamus. However, can the supreme court issue the mandamus order? If the supreme court is powerless to issue the mandamus to him, it must because the Judiciary act of 1789 is unconstitutional. If congress is allowed to distribute the original and appellate jurisdiction of the supreme court (as the judiciary act does) then the const grant of art 3 has no substance. For the court to issue a mandamus it must be an exercise of appellate jurisdiction (from the above rule). To order the mandamus it would be an unconstitutional exercise of original jurisdiction. Any law, including acts of the legislature, which is repugnant ot the const is void. Mandamus denied.
B. SUPREME COURTS AUTHORITY TO REVIEW STATE COURT JUDGMENTS
MARTIN V. HUNTER’S LESSEE (P.17) – STORY
Facts: Involves Virginia’s seizure of Fairfax lands and Virginia argues that since the matter was filed in state court the federal courts do not have the power to extend its views on state court.
Holding: Legitimized supreme courts authority to review state court judgments. “In all other cases” becomes relevant again. Constitution gives federal government power to review state decisions, if the constitution did not have this power then the const would be interpreted differently in every state – no binding authority – no united states. Virginia argues that fed would be able to abuse power – response: its better us than you, power can always be abused.
C. JUDICIAL EXCLUSIVITY IN CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION
COOPER V. AARON (P.20) – UNANIMOUS DECISION
Facts: School district said there would be chaos trying to enforce brown and asked for a postponement of the deadline.
Holding: Brown cannot be “nullified openly and directly, nor can it be nullified indirectly through evasive schemes for segrega

ass:
1st question: Does congress have the power to incorporate a bank
· Yes this issue is established and his fought through history and endured a lot of debate
· Marbury vs. madison already decided the issue really
· Maryland says that the states have the ultimate power over the federal government since the fed derives its power from the states, this is supported from the process of ratification
· Marshall replies that the constitution is granted by the people and is the supreme authority within its limited power
· Maryland says that if the power to make a bank is not in the text of the constitution than it is retained by the states
· Marshall – “expressly” was omitted from the articles for a reason ***
· He also states that the nature of the document is to grant powers
· The constitution cannot possible declare all of its powers or else it would look like a law book and wouldn’t be comprehensible to anyone
· The constitution must have the means to carry out the ends that are declared in it
§ Even if bank is not specifically stated in the const. a bank is required to collect taxes and borrow $ etc…
§ If a bank is needed to exercise the powers declared then there is no reason not to have it
All of the above is just general reasoning though let him prove it other ways