Marbury v Madison: Syllabus

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Syllabus | Opinion

February, 1803

WILLIAM MARBURY

v.

JAMES MADISON,

Secretary of State of the United States.

The Supreme Court of the United States has not power to issue a mandamus to a Secretary of State of the United States, it being an exercise of original jurisdiction not warranted by the constitution.

Congress has not power to give original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in other cases than those described in the constitution.

An act of congress repugnant to the constitution cannot become a law.

The courts of the United States are bound to take notice of tbe constitution.

A commision is not necessary to the appointment of an officer of the executive; semb.

A commission is only evidence of an appointment.

Delivery is not necessary to the validity of letters patent.

The president cannot authorize a Secretary of State to omit the performance of those duties which are enjoined by law.

A justice of peace in the District of Columbia is not removable at the will of the president.

When a commission for an officer not holding his office at the will of the president, is by him signed and transmitted to the Secretary of State, to be sealed and recorded, it is irrevocable; the appointment is complete.

A mandamus is the proper remedy to compel a Secretary of State to deliver a commission to which the party is entitled.


Syllabus | Opinion

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Posted 9 Sep 2000.

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