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What were the effects of Marbury v. Madison on the shaping of America?

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lkballer24 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM via web

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What were the effects of Marbury v. Madison on the shaping of America?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:42 AM (Answer #1)

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The most important effect of this case was on the nature of American government.  The case gave the Supreme Court the power of judicial review.  It allowed the Court to declare laws passed by Congress to be unconstitutional.  Even though this power was not used again for decades, it has come to have a huge impact on the way our country looks today.

If it were not for this case, it is conceivable that we might have a system in which laws passed by Congress and signed by the President could not be struck down by any higher authority.  This would mean that we might still have a system in which it was possible to place severe limits on the freedom of speech.  It might mean that racial segregation would have held on much longer than it did.

By providing for judicial review, this case made America a country that would do more to protect the rights of unpopular minorities of all sorts than many other countries.

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