U.S History

Mark Burdick & Brittany Hyde

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Marbury vs. Madison

Year – 1803

What the case is about- was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution.

Constitutional principle- That case established the power of judicial review, the power of the Supreme Court (and other federal courts) to rule that a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional and therefore invalid.

Significance- court case established the concept of Judicial Review or the ability of the Judiciary Branch to declare a law unconstitutional.

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Fletcher vs. Peck

Year- 1810

What the case is about- the first case in which the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional

Constitutional principle- Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional, the decision also helped create a growing precedent for the sanctity of legal contracts

significance- it made the way for the government to rule a law unconstitutional.

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Martin vs. Hunter Lesse

Year- 1816

What the case is about- Martin concerned competing claims to land in Virginia owned by Lord Fairfax. Virginia seized the land from Fairfax during the war.

Constitutional principle- the Supreme Court asserted its authority under section 25 of the judiciary act of 1789 to review state court decisions dealing with federal law.

significance- first confronted the argument that federal judicial power came from the states, therefore that the Supreme Court had no right to overrule a state's interpretation of the treaty without the state consent.

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Cohen’s vs. Virginia


What the case is about- Supreme Court decision most noted for the courts assertion of its power to review state Supreme Court decisions in criminal law matters when the defendant claims that their constitutional rights have been violated.

Constitutional principle- Noted for the Court's assertion of its power to review state supreme court decisions in criminal law matters when the defendant claims that their Constitutional rights have been violated

Significance- they got to exercise implied “powers,” in addition to the expressed powers of the government

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Dartmouth College vs. Woodard

Year- 1819

What the case is about- decision from the United States Supreme Court dealing with the application of the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution to private corporations

Constitutional principle- it gave power to the federal government over the states It also allowed the practice if restricting the state legislature.

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McCulloch vs. Maryland


What the case is about- The state of Maryland had attempted to impede operation of a branch of the second bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland

Constitutional principle- this case established two important principles in constitutional law. First, the constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the constitutions express powers, in order to create a functional national government. Second, state action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of powers by the federal government

Significance- in later history it decided in the first substantial constitutional case presented before the High Court of Australia in D’Emden vs. Pedder