Marbury v. Madison and the Politics of Judicial Supremacy


Whittington,. “Marbury v. Madison and the Politics of Judicial Supremacy”. Marbury v. Madison: 1803-2003 Deux Siecles de Censure Judicaire. Paris: Dalloz, 2003. Print.


Marbury v. Madison did not establish American judicial review as we imagine it today. A power of judicial review was already anticipated before the Marbury decision, and in the early nineteenth century Marbury added little to the Court's authority to interpret and apply the Constitution. Modern judicial review, in which the Court is the primary defender of constitutional requirements and an active force in the political arena, is a creation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, however, and was won through political battles in which conservative politicians joined forces with the federal courts to protect and extend judicial supervision of legislation. The power of judicial review was only secured when political progressives abandoned the effort to dismantle or weaken the power of judicial review and instead sought to turn it to their own ends.