Marbury Vs. Madison

Year?

  • 1803


Background?

  • Marbury was not given his appointment by Madison
  • Brought suit against President Jefferson's Secretary of state, James Madison looking for delivery of commission


Constitutional Principle?

  • Established the principle of Judicial Review


Significance?

  • This case brought the Judicial Branch on a higher power basis with the Legislative and Executive Branches
  • Set the precedent for multiple historical decisions in the future


Fletcher Vs. Peck

Year?

  • 1810


Background?


  • First case in the Supreme Court that got invalidated a state law as contrary to the constitution
  • Helped create a growing precedent for the sanctity of legal contracts
  • Also hinted that Native Americans did not hold titles to their own lands


Constitutional Principle?


  • The contract clause of the Constitution and ex post facto laws.



Significance?


  • The court establishes the constitution as a bulwark of the rights of property and contract against the mob rule of states
  • Both court opinions endorse a natural-rights approach to the constitution interpretation
  • The court argues against judicial inquiries into legislative intent






Martin Vs. Hunter's Lessee

Year?


  • 1816




Background?


  • It was the first case to assert ultimate Supreme Court authority over state courts in civil matters of federal law



Constitutional Principle?

  • Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over state court decisions


Significance?

  • As long as there's a federal law they can hear any case.



Cohens Vs. Virginia

Year?


  • 1821


Background?

  • Argument over District of Columbia lottery tickets that are forbidden to be sold in the state of Virginia


Constitutional Principle?

  • The supremacy of federal laws over state laws


Significance?

  • Virginia can limit lottery sales within it's borders

Dartmouth College Vs. Woodward

Year?


  • 1819


Background?

  • The state of New Hampshire wanted to change the charter of Dartmouth College


Constitutional Principle?

  • The contract clause of the Constitution and states' rights


Significance?

  • A state cannot change a contract unless both parties agree




McCulloch Vs. Maryland

Year?


  • 1819


Background?

  • Maryland tried to tax the Bank of the United States which was owned by the Federal government


Constitutional Principle?

  • Federal supremacy Vs. states' rights and the elastic clause


Significance?

  • The states' can't tax the Federal government