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Marbury v. Maidson was a United States Supreme Court case that defined judicial review, or the ability of the Supreme Court to void a law passed by Congress if it is deemed unconstitutional. The case began with President Thomas Jefferson and secretary of state James Madison refusing to honor the appointment of William Marbury as justice of the peace by previous president John Adams. Marbury requested a writ of mandamus, or order to an inferior governmental institution, from the Supreme Court to the secretary of state. Chief Justice John Marshall concluded that the Supreme Court was not able to issue writs of mandamus, and that Article III of the Constitution decided the role of the Supreme Court was to review whether acts of Congress are constitutional. This landmark case clarified the role of the Supreme Court and its relationship to other branches of government, and limited its power by denying it the right to issue writs of mandamus to other branches of government. The conclusion of the case was a denial of the writ of mandamus, which resulted in Marbury losing his commission.

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