The Marbury Vs. Madison Case was the first ever Judicial review of laws passed by Congress.
In the final days of his presidency, John Adams approved a law for 16 new federal judges, called the Judiciary Act of 1801. Thomas Jefferson did not agree with these last minute appointments. Secretary of State James Madison did not deliver the appointment notices to the judges. William Marbury, one of the new judges, fought back against losing his new job. He argued that, by law, Madison must deliver his notice and Jefferson must allow him to take his position. In the case of Marbury v. Madison, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Marbury had the right to his position but that the court could not force Jefferson or Congress to give it to him. The Judiciary Act of 1789 allowed the Supreme Court to issue an order giving Marbury the job. However, the court ruled that law unconstitutional. This was the first time the court had used judicial review. Judicial review is used when the Supreme Court declares that an action by Congress or the president violates the U.S. Constitution.