julgamento do caso conhecido como Marbury v. Madison, julgado em , que permitiu estabelecer os fundamentos da judicial review, que possibilitava ao. Congress does not have the power to pass laws that override the Constitution, such as by expanding the scope of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction. In cases of commissions to public officers, the law orders the Secretary of State to record them. Whether, in the present case. It is a plain case for a mandamus, either to deliver the commission or a copy of it the court for a rule to James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States.
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Title: U.S. Reports: Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) (). Contributor Names: Marshall, John (Judge): Supreme Court of the United States ( Author). Yet our nation was a quarter-century old before that power of "judicial review" was fully articulated by the Court itself in "Marbury v. Madison" (). William. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) (), was a U.S. Supreme Court case that Madison () is available for free download at the Internet Archive.
Marbury argued that a law passed by Congress the Judiciary Act of gave the Supreme Court of the United States the power to issue this writ. If the Court issued the writ, Madison would have to deliver the papers.
Then Marbury would become a justice of the peace. The Supreme Court of the United States had to decide the case. He was the same person who had been unable to deliver the paperwork in the first place Important Vocabulary As you read the background summary of the Marbury case, look for the important vocabulary words that are italicized. When you come to one of those terms, look at this page for its definition.
Then, check to see if you understand the definition 21 by either sketching a picture of what you think it means, or by putting it in your own words. Feel free to add terms from the reading that you would like to practice. Definition: To seek a remedy for a grievance or complaint in court How would you express this in your own words or in a drawing?
Before Jefferson took office, John Adams, the outgoing President who was a Federalist, quickly appointed 58 members of his own party to fill government jobs created by Congress. He did this because he wanted people from his political party in office. It was the responsibility of Adams' Secretary of State, John Marshall, to finish the paperwork and give it to each of the newly appointed officials.
Although Marshall signed and sealed all of the papers, he failed to deliver 17 of them to the appointees. Marshall thought his successor would finish the job. But when Jefferson became President, he told his new Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver some of the papers. Those individuals couldn't take office until they actually had their papers in hand. Adams had appointed William Marbury to be justice of the peace of the District of Columbia.
Marbury was one of the last-minute appointees who did not receive his papers. Marbury argued that he was entitled to the job and that the Judiciary Act of gave the Supreme Court of the United States original jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus, which is the type of court order he needed.
When the case came before the Court, John Marshall the person who had failed to deliver the commission in the first place was the new Chief Justice. The Court had to decide whether Marbury was entitled to his job, and if so, whether the Judiciary Act of gave the Court the 22 authority it needed to force the Secretary of State to appoint Marbury to his position. Thomas Jefferson, a member of the Republican Party, won the election of The outgoing President, John Adams, proceeded to rapidly appoint 58 members of his own party to fill government posts created by Congress.
It was the responsibility of the Secretary of State, John Marshall, to "deliver the commissions," finish the paperwork, and give it to each of the newly appointed judges. Although Marshall signed and sealed all of the commissions, he failed to deliver 17 of them to the respective appointees. Marshall assumed that his successor would finish the job, but when Jefferson became President, he told his new Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver some of the commissions, because he did not want members of the opposing political party to take office.
The appointment being, under the Constitution, to be made by the President personally, the delivery of the deed of appointment, if necessary to its completion, must be made by the President also.
It is not necessary that the livery should be made personally to the grantee of the office; it never is so made. The law would seem to contemplate that it should be made to the Secretary of State, since it directs the secretary to affix the seal to the commission after it shall have been signed by the President.
If then the act of livery be necessary to give validity to the commission, it has been delivered when executed and given to the Secretary for the purpose of being sealed, recorded, and transmitted to the party. But in all cases of letters patent, certain solemnities are required by law, which solemnities are the evidences Page 5 U. A formal delivery to the person is not among them. In cases of commissions, the sign manual of the President and the seal of the United States are those solemnities.
This objection therefore does not touch the case. It has also occurred as possible, and barely possible, that the transmission of the commission and the acceptance thereof might be deemed necessary to complete the right of the plaintiff. The transmission of the commission is a practice directed by convenience, but not by law. It cannot therefore be necessary to constitute the appointment, which must precede it and which is the mere act of the President.
If the Executive required that every person appointed to an office should himself take means to procure his commission, the appointment would not be the less valid on that account. The appointment is the sole act of the President; the transmission of the commission is the sole act of the officer to whom that duty is assigned, and may be accelerated or retarded by circumstances which can have no influence on the appointment.
A commission is transmitted to a person already appointed, not to a person to be appointed or not, as the letter enclosing the commission should happen to get into the post office and reach him in safety, or to miscarry.
It may have some tendency to elucidate this point to inquire whether the possession of the original commission be indispensably necessary to authorize a person appointed to any office to perform the duties of that office. If it was necessary, then a loss of the commission would lose the office. Not only negligence, but accident or fraud, fire or theft might deprive an individual of his office.
In such a case, I presume it could not be doubted but that a copy from the record of the Office of the Secretary of State would be, to every intent and purpose, equal to the original.
The act of Congress has expressly made it so. To give that copy validity, it would not be necessary to prove that the original had been transmitted and afterwards lost. The copy would be complete evidence that the original had existed, and that the appointment had been made, but not that the original had been transmitted.
If indeed it should appear that Page 5 U. When all the requisites have been performed which authorize a recording officer to record any instrument whatever, and the order for that purpose has been given, the instrument is in law considered as recorded, although the manual labour of inserting it in a book kept for that purpose may not have been performed. In the case of commissions, the law orders the Secretary of State to record them.
When, therefore, they are signed and sealed, the order for their being recorded is given, and, whether inserted in the book or not, they are in law recorded.
A copy of this record is declared equal to the original, and the fees to be paid by a person requiring a copy are ascertained by law. Can a keeper of a public record erase therefrom a commission which has been recorded? Or can he refuse a copy thereof to a person demanding it on the terms prescribed by law? Such a copy would, equally with the original, authorize the justice of peace to proceed in the performance of his duty, because it would, equally with the original, attest his appointment.
If the transmission of a commission be not considered as necessary to give validity to an appointment, still less is its acceptance. The appointment is the sole act of the President; the acceptance is the sole act of the officer, and is, in plain common sense, posterior to the appointment.
As he may resign, so may he refuse to accept; but neither the one nor the other is capable of rendering the appointment a nonentity. That this is the understanding of the government is apparent from the whole tenor of its conduct. A commission bears date, and the salary of the officer commences from his appointment, not from the transmission or acceptance of his commission. When a person appointed to any office refuses to accept that office, the successor is nominated in the place of the person who Page 5 U.
It is therefore decidedly the opinion of the Court that, when a commission has been signed by the President, the appointment is made, and that the commission is complete when the seal of the United States has been affixed to it by the Secretary of State.
Where an officer is removable at the will of the Executive, the circumstance which completes his appointment is of no concern, because the act is at any time revocable, and the commission may be arrested if still in the office.
But when the officer is not removable at the will of the Executive, the appointment is not revocable, and cannot be annulled.
It has conferred legal rights which cannot be resumed. The discretion of the Executive is to be exercised until the appointment has been made. But having once made the appointment, his power over the office is terminated in all cases, where by law the officer is not removable by him. The right to the office is then in the person appointed, and he has the absolute, unconditional power of accepting or rejecting it. Marbury, then, since his commission was signed by the President and sealed by the Secretary of State, was appointed, and as the law creating the office gave the officer a right to hold for five years independent of the Executive, the appointment was not revocable, but vested in the officer legal rights which are protected by the laws of his country.
To withhold the commission, therefore, is an act deemed by the Court not warranted by law, but violative of a vested legal right. This brings us to the second inquiry, which is: 2. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection. In Great Britain, the King himself is sued in the respectful form of a petition, and he never fails to comply with the judgment of his court.
In the third volume of his Commentaries, page 23, Blackstone states two cases in which a remedy is afforded by mere operation of law. And herein I shall for the present only remark that all possible injuries whatsoever that did not fall within the exclusive cognizance of either the ecclesiastical, military, or maritime tribunals are, for that very reason, within the cognizance of the common law courts of justice, for it is a settled and invariable principle in the laws of England that every right, when withheld, must have a remedy, and every injury its proper redress.
It will certainly cease to deserve this high appellation if the laws furnish no remedy for the violation of a vested legal right. If this obloquy is to be cast on the jurisprudence of our country, it must arise from the peculiar character of the case.
It behooves us, then, to inquire whether there be in its composition any ingredient which shall exempt from legal investigation or exclude the injured party from legal redress.
In pursuing this inquiry, the first question which presents itself is whether this can be arranged Page 5 U. This description of cases never has been considered, and, it is believed, never can be considered, as comprehending offices of trust, of honour or of profit. The office of justice of peace in the District of Columbia is such an office; it is therefore worthy of the attention and guardianship of the laws.
It has received that attention and guardianship. It has been created by special act of Congress, and has been secured, so far as the laws can give security to the person appointed to fill it, for five years. It is not then on account of the worthlessness of the thing pursued that the injured party can be alleged to be without remedy.
Is it in the nature of the transaction? Is the act of delivering or withholding a commission to be considered as a mere political act belonging to the Executive department alone, for the performance of which entire confidence is placed by our Constitution in the Supreme Executive, and for any misconduct respecting which the injured individual has no remedy?
That there may be such cases is not to be questioned. By the act concerning invalids, passed in June, , the Secretary at War is ordered to place on the pension list all persons whose names are contained in a report previously made by him to Congress. If he should refuse to do so, would the wounded veteran be without remedy? Is it to be contended that where the law, in precise terms, directs the performance of an act in which an individual is interested, the law is incapable of securing obedience to its mandate?
Is it on account of the character of the person against whom the complaint is made? Is it to be contended that the heads of departments are not amenable to the laws of their country? Whatever the practice on particular occasions may be, the theory of this principle will certainly never be maintained. After stating that personal injury from the King to a subject is presumed to be impossible, Blackstone, Vol.
It is further enacted that all patents shall be countersigned by the Secretary of State, and recorded in his office. If the Secretary of State should choose to withhold this patent, or, the patent being lost, should refuse a copy of it, can it be imagined that the law furnishes to the injured person no remedy?
It is not believed that any person whatever would attempt to maintain such a proposition. It follows, then, that the question whether the legality of an act of the head of a department be examinable in a court of justice or not must always depend on the nature of that act. If some acts be examinable and others not, there must be some rule of law to guide the Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction.
In some instances, there may be difficulty in applying the rule to particular cases; but there cannot, it is believed, be much difficulty in laying down the rule. By the Constitution of the United States, the President is invested with certain important political powers, in the Page 5 U. To aid him in the performance of these duties, he is authorized to appoint certain officers, who act by his authority and in conformity with his orders.
In such cases, their acts are his acts; and whatever opinion may be entertained of the manner in which executive discretion may be used, still there exists, and can exist, no power to control that discretion. The subjects are political. They respect the nation, not individual rights, and, being entrusted to the Executive, the decision of the Executive is conclusive. The application of this remark will be perceived by adverting to the act of Congress for establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs.
This officer, as his duties were prescribed by that act, is to conform precisely to the will of the President. He is the mere organ by whom that will is communicated. The acts of such an officer, as an officer, can never be examinable by the Courts. But when the Legislature proceeds to impose on that officer other duties; when he is directed peremptorily to perform certain acts; when the rights of individuals are dependent on the performance of those acts; he is so far the officer of the law, is amenable to the laws for his conduct, and cannot at his discretion, sport away the vested rights of others.
The conclusion from this reasoning is that, where the heads of departments are the political or confidential agents of the Executive, merely to execute the will of the President, or rather to act in cases in which the Executive possesses a constitutional or legal discretion, nothing can be more perfectly clear than that their acts are only politically examinable. If this be the rule, let us inquire how it applies to the case under the consideration of the Court.
When he has made an appointment, he has exercised his whole power, and his discretion has been completely applied to the case.
If, by law, the officer be removable at the will of the President, then a new appointment may be immediately made, and the rights of the officer are terminated. But as a fact which has existed cannot be made never to have existed, the appointment cannot be annihilated, and consequently, if the officer is by law not removable at the will of the President, the rights he has acquired are protected by the law, and are not resumable by the President.
They cannot be extinguished by Executive authority, and he has the privilege of asserting them in like manner as if they had been derived from any other source. The question whether a right has vested or not is, in its nature, judicial, and must be tried by the judicial authority. If, for example, Mr. Marbury had taken the oaths of a magistrate and proceeded to act as one, in consequence of which a suit had been instituted against him in which his defence had depended on his being a magistrate; the validity of his appointment must have been determined by judicial authority.
So, if he conceives that, by virtue of his appointment, he has a legal right either to the commission which has been made out for him or to a copy of that commission, it is equally a question examinable in a court, and the decision of the Court upon it must depend on the opinion entertained of his appointment. That question has been discussed, and the opinion is that the latest point of time which can be taken as that at which the appointment was complete and evidenced was when, after the signature of the President, the seal of the United States was affixed to the commission.
It is then the opinion of the Court: 1. That, by signing the commission of Mr. That, having this legal title to the office, he has a consequent right to the commission, a refusal to deliver which is a plain violation of that right, for which the laws of his country afford him a remedy.
It remains to be inquired whether, 3. He is entitled to the remedy for which he applies. This depends on: 1. The nature of the writ applied for, and 2. The power of this court. The nature of the writ. Blackstone, in the third volume of his Commentaries, page , defines a mandamus to be "a command issuing in the King's name from the Court of King's Bench, and directed to any person, corporation, or inferior court of judicature within the King's dominions requiring them to do some particular thing therein specified which appertains to their office and duty, and which the Court of King's Bench has previously determined, or at least supposes, to be consonant to right and justice.
Baker et al.
This writ, if awarded, would be directed to an officer of government, and its mandate to him would be, to use the words of Blackstone, "to do a particular thing therein specified, which appertains to his office and duty and which the Court has previously determined or at least supposes to be consonant to right and justice.
These circumstances certainly concur in this case. Still, to render the mandamus a proper remedy, the officer to whom it is to be directed must be one to whom, on legal principles, such writ may be directed, and the person applying for it must be without any other specific and legal remedy. With respect to the officer to whom it would be directed. The intimate political relation, subsisting between the President of the United States and the heads of departments, necessarily renders any legal investigation of the acts of one of those high officers peculiarly irksome, as well as delicate, and excites some hesitation with respect to the propriety of entering into such investigation.
Impressions are often received without much reflection or examination, and it is not wonderful that, in such a case as this, the assertion by an individual of his legal claims in a court of justice, to which claims it is the duty of that court to attend, should, at first view, be considered Page 5 U. It is scarcely necessary for the Court to disclaim all pretensions to such a jurisdiction.
An extravagance so absurd and excessive could not have been entertained for a moment. The province of the Court is solely to decide on the rights of individuals, not to inquire how the Executive or Executive officers perform duties in which they have a discretion. Questions, in their nature political or which are, by the Constitution and laws, submitted to the Executive, can never be made in this court.
But, if this be not such a question; if so far from being an intrusion into the secrets of the cabinet, it respects a paper which, according to law, is upon record, and to a copy of which the law gives a right, on the payment of ten cents; if it be no intermeddling with a subject over which the Executive can be considered as having exercised any control; what is there in the exalted station of the officer which shall bar a citizen from asserting in a court of justice his legal rights, or shall forbid a court to listen to the claim or to issue a mandamus directing the performance of a duty not depending on Executive discretion, but on particular acts of Congress and the general principles of law?
If one of the heads of departments commits any illegal act under colour of his office by which an individual sustains an injury, it cannot be pretended that his office alone exempts him from being sued in the ordinary mode of proceeding, and being compelled to obey the judgment of the law. How then can his office exempt him from this particular mode of deciding on the legality of his conduct if the case be such a case as would, were any other individual the party complained of, authorize the process?
It is not by the office of the person to whom the writ is directed, but the nature of the thing to be done, that the propriety or impropriety of issuing a mandamus is to be determined. Where the head of a department acts in a case in which Executive discretion is to be exercised, in which he is the mere organ of Executive will, it is Page 5 U.
But where he is directed by law to do a certain act affecting the absolute rights of individuals, in the performance of which he is not placed under the particular direction of the President, and the performance of which the President cannot lawfully forbid, and therefore is never presumed to have forbidden -- as for example, to record a commission, or a patent for land, which has received all the legal solemnities; or to give a copy of such record -- in such cases, it is not perceived on what ground the Courts of the country are further excused from the duty of giving judgment that right to be done to an injured individual than if the same services were to be performed by a person not the head of a department.
This opinion seems not now for the first time to be taken up in this country. It must be well recollected that, in , an act passed, directing the secretary at war to place on the pension list such disabled officers and soldiers as should be reported to him by the Circuit Courts, which act, so far as the duty was imposed on the Courts, was deemed unconstitutional; but some of the judges, thinking that the law might be executed by them in the character of commissioners, proceeded to act and to report in that character.
This law being deemed unconstitutional at the circuits, was repealed, and a different system was established; but the question whether those persons who had been reported by the judges, as commissioners, were entitled, in consequence of that report, to be placed on the pension list was a legal question, properly determinable in the Courts, although the act of placing such persons on the list was to be performed by the head of a department.
That this question might be properly settled, Congress passed an act in February, , making it the duty of the Secretary of War, in conjunction with the Attorney General, to take such measures as might be necessary to obtain an adjudication of the Supreme Court of the United Page 5 U.
After the passage of this act, a mandamus was moved for, to be directed to the Secretary of War, commanding him to place on the pension list a person stating himself to be on the report of the judges. There is, therefore, much reason to believe that this mode of trying the legal right of the complainant was deemed by the head of a department, and by the highest law officer of the United States, the most proper which could be selected for the purpose. When the subject was brought before the Court, the decision was not that a mandamus would not lie to the head of a department directing him to perform an act enjoined by law, in the performance of which an individual had a vested interest, but that a mandamus ought not to issue in that case -- the decision necessarily to be made if the report of the commissioners did not confer on the applicant a legal right.
The judgment in that case is understood to have decided the merits of all claims of that description, and the persons, on the report of the commissioners, found it necessary to pursue the mode prescribed by the law subsequent to that which had been deemed unconstitutional in order to place themselves on the pension list.
The doctrine, therefore, now advanced is by no means a novel one.
It is true that the mandamus now moved for is not for the performance of an act expressly enjoined by statute. It is to deliver a commission, on which subjects the acts of Congress are silent. This difference is not considered as affecting the case.
It has already been stated that the applicant has, to that commission, a vested legal right of which the Executive cannot deprive him.
He has been appointed to an office from which he is not removable at the will of the Executive, and, being so Page 5 U. The act of Congress does not, indeed, order the Secretary of State to send it to him, but it is placed in his hands for the person entitled to it, and cannot be more lawfully withheld by him than by another person.
It was at first doubted whether the action of detinue was not a specific legal remedy for the commission which has been withheld from Mr. Marbury, in which case a mandamus would be improper. But this doubt has yielded to the consideration that the judgment in detinue is for the thing itself, or its value.
The value of a public office not to be sold is incapable of being ascertained, and the applicant has a right to the office itself, or to nothing. He will obtain the office by obtaining the commission or a copy of it from the record. This, then, is a plain case of a mandamus, either to deliver the commission or a copy of it from the record, and it only remains to be inquired: Whether it can issue from this Court.
The act to establish the judicial courts of the United States authorizes the Supreme Court "to issue writs of mandamus, in cases warranted by the principles and usages of law, to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States.
The Constitution vests the whole judicial power of the United States in one Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as Congress shall, from time to time, ordain and establish. This power is expressly extended to all cases arising under the laws of the United States; and consequently, in some form, may be exercised over the present case, because the right claimed is given by a law of the United States.
In the distribution of this power. In all other cases, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction. If it had been intended to leave it in the discretion of the Legislature to apportion the judicial power between the Supreme and inferior courts according to the will of that body, it would certainly have been useless to have proceeded further than to have defined the judicial power and the tribunals in which it should be vested.
The subsequent part of the section is mere surplusage -- is entirely without meaning -- if such is to be the construction. If Congress remains at liberty to give this court appellate jurisdiction where the Constitution has declared their jurisdiction shall be original, and original jurisdiction where the Constitution has declared it shall be appellate, the distribution of jurisdiction made in the Constitution, is form without substance.
Affirmative words are often, in their operation, negative of other objects than those affirmed, and, in this case, a negative or exclusive sense must be given to them or they have no operation at all. It cannot be presumed that any clause in the Constitution is intended to be without effect, and therefore such construction is inadmissible unless the words require it.
That they should have appellate jurisdiction in all other cases, with such exceptions as Congress might make, is no restriction unless the words be deemed exclusive of original jurisdiction. When an instrument organizing fundamentally a judicial system divides it into one Supreme and so many inferior courts as the Legislature may ordain and establish, then enumerates its powers, and proceeds so far to distribute them as to define the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by declaring the cases in which it shall take original jurisdiction, and that in others it shall take appellate jurisdiction, the plain import of the words seems to be that, in one class of cases, its jurisdiction is original, and not appellate; in the other, it is appellate, and not original.
To enable this court then to issue a mandamus, it must be shown to be an exercise of appellate jurisdiction, or to be necessary to enable them to exercise appellate jurisdiction. It has been stated at the bar that the appellate jurisdiction may be exercised in a variety of forms, and that, if it be the will of the Legislature that a mandamus should be used for that purpose, that will must be obeyed.
This is true; yet the jurisdiction must be appellate, not original. It is the essential criterion of appellate jurisdiction that it revises and corrects the proceedings in a cause already instituted, and does not create that case.
Although, therefore, a mandamus may be directed to courts, yet to issue such a writ to an officer for the delivery of a paper is, in effect, the same as to sustain an original action for that paper, and therefore seems not to belong to Page 5 U.
Neither is it necessary in such a case as this to enable the Court to exercise its appellate jurisdiction. The authority, therefore, given to the Supreme Court by the act establishing the judicial courts of the United States to issue writs of mandamus to public officers appears not to be warranted by the Constitution, and it becomes necessary to inquire whether a jurisdiction so conferred can be exercised.
The question whether an act repugnant to the Constitution can become the law of the land is a question deeply interesting to the United States, but, happily, not of an intricacy proportioned to its interest. It seems only necessary to recognise certain principles, supposed to have been long and well established, to decide it.
That the people have an original right to establish for their future government such principles as, in their opinion, shall most conduce to their own happiness is the basis on which the whole American fabric has been erected.