When the Federalists lost power in the election of 1800, the only branch of government in which they maintained control was the Supreme Court. In order to secure their hold in at least one branch of government, the Federalists took certain actions during their last days in power; they passed the Judiciary Act of 1801. Then, President, John Adams spent his last night in-office signing his “midnight appointments,” thus guaranteeing that loyal Federalists would control the Court. Upon taking office Jefferson’s followers unsuccessfully attempted to put an end to Federalists’ dominance of the justice system.
This discussion forum will require you to read the following
- Read Article III of the Constitution, which addresses the Supreme Court, paying close attention to what it states, and also what it does not say. Identify the specific powers that are granted to the Supreme Court.
- Read the relevant sections of Chapter 9, in particular, the chapter’s discussion on the Judiciary Act of 1789, and a discussion of the act.
- Read Chief Justice Marshall’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, considered to be one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in American history. How does Marshall build his case for judicial review in this decision?
After completing your readings, post your response to only ONE of the following questions:
- Why was establishing the power of judicial review an important step for the Supreme Court? Consider-What if this case had never come before the court?
- In your opinion, did Chief Justice Marshall or the Supreme Court have the “power” to make this decision? Make sure that you support your argument, and keep in mind that all the delegated powers granted to each branch of government are listed in the Constitution.
In order to earn the full credit points for this assignment, students must discuss at least one question, and respond to a fellow student’s postings:
- Directly and completely to the question that you selected. Clearly and accurately explain your answer based on factual information contained in the readings. Make sure that all statements are supported with facts from the readings (80 points).
- Students must respond to at least one fellow student’s posting and discuss the reason(s) for their agreement or disagreement, with the arguments that are presented. You must address specific points, and support your response with facts from the readings and other sources. (20 points).
- Students can choose to respond to any posting, they do have to respond to a posting that discusses the question they addressed.
Reminder: Please make sure to comply with all Netiquette Guidelines listed in the Getting Started module.