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How does Marbury v. Madison enhance the system of checks and balances?

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bosstwick | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 25, 2012 at 11:58 PM via web

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How does Marbury v. Madison enhance the system of checks and balances?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 26, 2012 at 12:09 AM (Answer #1)

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Marbury v. Madison enhanced the system of checks and balances by giving the Supreme Court (judicial branch) a very strong check on the actions of the Congress (legislative branch).

The Constitution itself did not give the Supreme Court the power of judicial review.  It was silent on the issue of who would determine whether a law passed by Congress was consistent with the Constitution.  In Marbury, the Supreme Court took this power for itself.  By doing so, it gave itself a way to overrule the actions of Congress.  This created another strong check by one branch over another and enhanced the overall system of checks and balances.

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