Illustrate the workings of the adversary system.

Case Study 1: Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 1 Cranch 137, 2 L. Ed. 60 (1803)

Due Week 2 and worth 150 points


In 1803, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, decides the landmark case of William Marbury versus James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States and confirms the legal principle of judicial review–the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional–in the new nation.


Analyze the following case in preparation to answer the questions that follow a systematic approach to your synthesis of law and fact. The final work product is a legal memorandum that articulates whether judicial review is still vital to the power of the Supreme Court which is to be presented to members of a judicial tribunal.


Review the following case:


Write an eight to ten (8-10) page paper in which you:

  1. Prepare a two to three (2-3) page briefing on the case that you reviewed in which you utilize the following areas of importance: a) issue presented; b) short answer; c) the facts of the case; d) a summary of the case; and e) a conclusion of the case outcome.
  2. Review the concept of judicial review, and explain the fundamental manner in which the Court obtained the power of judicial review.
  3. Interpret the following quote from Thomas Jefferson in a letter to W.C. Jarvis, dated Sept. 28, 1820: “It is very dangerous doctrine to consider the judges as the ultimate authority of all constitutional questions.” Provide a rationale for your interpretation.
  4. Specify whether or not you believe Chief Justice John Marshall’s claim of the power of judicial review for the judicial branch constituted a usurpation of power.
  5. Review the Court’s decision in Marbury and determine whether the Court acted in any fashion in order to improve the system of checks and balances that exits among the branches of government.
  6. Use at least two (2) quality references. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.


Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Illustrate the workings of the adversary system.
  • Analyze the functions of law and identify various types of law.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in U.S. Courts.
  • Write clearly and concisely about U.S. Courts using proper writing mechanics and APA style conventions.

Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.

Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page: