Discuss the effect of case Marbury Vs Madison in American constitution.

(1) Introduction

Marbury v. Madison was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in United States of America under Article III of American Constitution. The landmark decision of this case, in fact, constitutionally defined boundary between separate executive and judicial branches of American form of government.

(2) Effect of Case Marbury Vs Madison In American Constitution

Explanation of followings points is important to explain effect of this case in American Constitution:

  • (i) Doctrine of judicial review
  • (ii) Settled principles for exercise of power of judicial review


(i) Doctrine Of Judicial Review

American Constitution has not provided American Supreme Court power of judicial review. It was through decision of this case that American Supreme Court has itself assumed this power to review not only all federal and state legislative acts, but also executive acts.

Therefore, it can be opined that power of judicial review was not initially constitutional power in American Constitution. However, this case had proved a landmark for incorporation of power of judicial review of American Supreme Court into American Constitution.


(ii) Settled Principles For Exercise Of Power Of Judicial Review

This case has provided some principles, which have, in fact, become basis for acceptance of doctrine of judicial review under American Constitution. And these priciples were:

  • (a) Powers of government
  • (b) Supremacy of constitution (b)
  • (c) Non-application of legislation on courts
  • (d) Rejection of laws in contradiction to constitution
  • (e) Task of judges

(a) Powers Of Government

This case explained powers and limits of government under American Constitution.

(b) Supremacy Of Constitution

This case has decided that American Constitution is fundamental law of the state. Therefore, it is supreme over other legislation of Congress.

(c) Non-application Of Legislation On Courts

It has been declared in decision of this case that those laws of Congress, which are in contradiction to American Constitution, are not applicable to courts.

(d) Rejection Of Laws In Contradiction To Constitution

It has been decided in this case that courts can reject those laws, which are contrary to American Constitution.

(e) Task Of Judges

Through decision of this case, it has been decided that it is task of judges to protect American Constitution. Under American Constitution, power of American Supreme Court has, in fact, been admitted to review whether legislation of Congress is constitutional or unconstitutional. The result is that exercise of power of judicial review has saved American Constitution against unconstitutional legislation and amendments.

(3) Conclusion

To conclude, it can be stated that this case has been proved very important step for introduction of doctrine of judicial power under American Constitution. And results were that American legislature and executive have been checked from misusing their powers. History reveals that American Supreme Court have nullified several acts of Congress and have often declared executive acts invalid. It has been possible only due to exercise of power of judicial review by American Supreme Court.


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