When Thomas Jefferson (a Republican) won the election of 1800, John Adams (a Federalist) quickly appointed a number of his own party members to fill key positions as his outgoing action. John Marshall, his Secretary of State, was supposed to fill out papers finalizing these appointments and give them to the people who had been appointed. Their appointments weren't official until they got their papers. Marshall did not get the papers to several of the appointees in time but he assumed that Madison, who would be taking his place in the new administration, would do it for him. Jefferson, seeing an opportunity, told Madison not to give them their papers, essentially making those appointments invalid leaving him with the ability to fill those positions with members of his party, One of those people who did not get his papers was Marbury. Marbury sued Madison and took the case all the way to the Supreme Court in an attempt to force Madison to deliver his paperwork to him as Adams had promised. This case is significant because it established a precedence of judicial review. It also established that Marbury had a right to his commission, even though he didn't get it, and that there was a means by which he could argue his case in the courts. Essentially, this means that the Supreme Court is entitled to review acts of Congress. In this case, however, it was a no-win situation for the court because even if they found in favor of Marbury, Jefferson would not honor the decision and that would lead to animosity between the President and the Supreme Court. The answer they finally came up with was brilliant in that they acknowledged in writing that yes, in fact Marbury deserved his commission, but they could not force Jefferson to acknowledge it. It was Marshall's error that cause him to not get the commission, and the courts would be acting unconstitutionally if they attempted to force Jefferson to honor Adams' unfinished appointments.