Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Law, Court, Supreme Court, Constitution, Criminal Justice, Crime, Justice, Perception

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/19

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In the USA, interpretation of statues and the Constitution had always been one of the most important powers of the courts. It is through court decisions (especially the Supreme Court, when one deals with the Constitution) that one can infer and understand how laws are to be read and applied to specific circumstances. But this does not mean that the courts are at liberty to interpret as they please – while there is no single doctrine of interpretation which all courts follow, there are a few doctrines which the courts can choose from after due consideration they are – Plain text meaning, Intent of the framers and Adoption of History, Structure and Effective functioning of the Institutions, Extra-Textual values of natural law and contemporary public opinion.
In this regard, the Marbury v. Madison case (5 US 137 (1803)) is a landmark case. Through its interpretation of the Constitution, it set a precedent which allowed courts to strike down laws which they deemed unconstitutional. This extraordinary power of the courts was derived through various interpretations which the Supreme Court, presided by Chief Justice John Marshall, placed in certain articles of the Constitution. But first, certain But first, one must understand the facts of this case.
The case is a perfect example of how Constitutional interpretation based on the intent of the Framers worked. One did not simply review history and study the psyche of the framers! Instead, the court looked keenly into the wording of the Constitution and its implications. This is the point of departure from an interpretation based on test and plain meaning – implications. Another clear of example is the Hans v. Louisiana case
(134 U.S. 1 (1890)). Here, the plaintiff attempted to bring an action against a State. According to the Eleventh Amendment, no citizen of a particular State can bring an action against any other State. Accordingly, the plaintiff believed that it was acceptable to bring a charge against his own state. However, the court held that, through implication, the framers clearly never ‘imagined or dreamed of such a construction.’
Using this analogy, one can analyze the decision of the Supreme Court in the given case. Chief Justice Marshall noted that, owing to the unique facts of this case, the case was to be treated as particularly delicate. To go about this case carefully, Chief Justice Marshall provided 3 main questions to guide the proceedings. They are – (1) Has the applicant a right to the commission he demands? (2) If he has a right, and that right has been violated, do the laws of his country afford him a remedy? And (3) If they do afford him a remedy, is it a mandamus issuing from this court? Moreover, the decision of the court hinged on Article III Section 2 Clause 2 of the Constitution which described the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in such cases.
The first two questions were quickly answered and the court moved on to the trickier third.. On reviewing the Judiciary Act of 1789, Chief Justice Marshall found that the Act was in conflict with the Constitution insomuch that it was incongruent with the intent of the framers. It was then stated that in cases such as this where an act of Congress conflicted with the Constitution, the courts would follow the principles laid down in the Constitution. To this, Chief Justice Marshall declared that laws which conflict with the constitution are not laws at all, which is in congruence with the principle of Judicial Review as laid down in the Constitution.
In other words, the force of a written constitution is such that it cannot be overlooked by any power. The court is thus the defender of the constitution, not only in restricting the power of the executive to change the Constitution but also in interpreting it. This case relied heavily on the intent of the Framers – the Constitution’s very existence was described as being with the intention of creating a supreme piece of legislation for the land by its Founding Fathers.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 19) Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison. Retrieved April 12, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/
"Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison." WePapers, 19 Oct. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/. Accessed 12 April 2021.
WePapers. 2020. Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison., viewed April 12 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/>
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"Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison." WePapers, Oct 19, 2020. Accessed April 12, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/
WePapers. 2020. "Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved April 12, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/).
"Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 19-Oct-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/. [Accessed: 12-Apr-2021].
Good Essay On Constitutional Interpretation In Marbury V. Madison. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-constitutional-interpretation-in-marbury-v-madison/. Published Oct 19, 2020. Accessed April 12, 2021.
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