What was the impact on the united states after the decision of the Marbury VS. Madison case?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The case of Marbury v. Madison impacted the United States by giving the Supreme Court much more power in our political system.  This eventually led to some major events in US history.

Before Marbury it was not clear that the Supreme Court could say that laws passed by Congress were unconstitutional.  In Marbury, the Court declared that it had that power, which we call the power of judicial review.  This did not change the US right away.  However, the Supreme Court eventually started using this power in ways that did change the country.

When the Supreme Court started using the power of judicial review, it had some major impacts on the country.  For example, the Dred Scott decision overturned the Missouri Compromise.  This meant that political compromise between the North and South would be harder to come by.  Eventually, this decision helped to start the Civil War.

Later on, in 1896, the Supreme Court decided the case of Plessy v. Ferguson.  In that case, it decided that the Constitution allowed white-run governments to discriminate against African Americans and to impose segregation on them.  This continued until the Court made another tremendously important decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.  Then, the Court banned segregation, making it possible for us to get closer to true racial equality.

We can still see the Court’s power today.  It decided that abortion was a right in Roe v. Wade.  It recently decided that there is a right to same-sex marriage.  If it were not for the ruling in Marbury, these changes might not have occurred in our country.  Therefore, this case impacted the US by giving the Supreme Court a great deal of power to shape our society.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Marbury v Madison case was a huge case for the United States government. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that a state can't tax a federal institution, in this case the bank of the United States. However, there were other points much more important than that. First, this case reinforced the concept of judicial review. This gives the courts the power to determine if laws are legal (constitutional) or not (unconstitutional). This is a huge power for the courts, and it serves as part of the checks and balances in our federal system. Second, it reinforced the idea that the federal government may interpret the constitution in a loose manner. This would give the federal government a lot more latitude to make decisions. Basically, a loose view means the government can do something unless the Constitution strictly forbids this from happening. Marbury v Madison was one of the most important court cases in our history.

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