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Between 1800 and 1835 the Supreme Court dealt with many cases of great importance to the United States of America John Marshall served as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during this time The case of Marbury v Madison in 1803 was one of the most crucial court cases and decisions made in this time period During the early 1800s the Supreme Court had none of the power and authority that it holds today Very few cases of importance had ever been brought into the Court and the Court had little precedent on which to base its decisions The decision that John Marshall and the Supreme Court made concerning Marbury v Madison increased the power of the national government and determined the Constitution to be the superior law of the land Shortly before leaving office in 1800 President John Adams appointed forty-two justices of the peace for the District of Columbia All of the commissions for the justices of peace had been signed and sent out before the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson took office but not all of them had been delivered One of the men who had been appointed by Adams and had not received his commission was a man named William Marbury Marbury sued under a writ of mandamus in order to collect his commission When the new Secretary of State James Madison refused to give Marbury his commission Marbury brought a suit in the Supreme Court against Madison stating that withholding the signed and sealed commission was illegal Lawson 16 In the case of Marbury v Madison the first thing the Court did was to declare the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional Chief Justice Marshall dismissed the case because Marbury had sued under a writ of mandamus and the Constitution did not include such writs in its list of powers of the Supreme Court Marshall claimed that even though the Judiciary Act of 1789 authorized the Supreme Court to
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