Why is the Constitution Supreme?
- Constitutional Supremacy and Interpretation (123-124).
- Federalist No. 51 (128-129).
- Federalist No. 78 (133-138).
- Background of Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review (140-143).
- Marbury v. Madison (143-155).
- Stuart v. Laird (155-156).
- Judicial Supremacy and letters from Jefferson and Madison (159-161)
Today’s class will focus on these clauses of the Constitution:
Article II, Section 2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate . . . [to] nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United State, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law.
Article II, Section 3: He . . . shall Commission all the Officers of the United States
Article III, Section 2: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution . . In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
Article VI, Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Article VI, Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution . .
In addition, here is the Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 (one of the first acts the First Congress voted on) at issue in Marbury:
And be it further enacted, That the Supreme court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies of a civil nature, where a state is a party, except between a state and its citizens; and except also between a state and citizens of other states, or aliens, in which latter case it shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction. And shall have exclusively all such jurisdiction of suits or proceedings against ambassadors, or other public minister, or their domestics, or domestic servants, as a court of law can have or exercise consistently with the law of nations; and original, but not exclusive jurisdiction of all suits brought by ambassadors, or other public ministers, or in which a consul, or vice consul, shall be a party. And the trial of issues of fact in the Supreme Court, in all actions at law against citizens of the United States, shall be by jury. The Supreme Court shall also have appellate jurisdiction from the circuit courts and courts of the several states, in the cases herein after specially provided for; and shall have power to issue writs of prohibition to the district courts, when proceeding as courts of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and 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 Federalist Papers were a series of 85 articles written jointly by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, under the pseudonym Publius, following the submission of the Constitution to the state conventions. The purpose of these papers were to raise support for ratification.
Here is a photograph of the Forrest-Marbury House in Washington, D.C., which was acquired by William Mabury in 1800. The house would remain in the Marbury family for the next century. It currently serves as the Embassy of Ukraine, located at 3350 M Street NW in Georgetown (not far from the Key Bridge).
There is a plaque in the front commemorating the location:
And here is the original copy of the opinion.
Thanks to Max K. for the photographs of the house.