There are three branches of the U.S. government: the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch is headed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Legislative Branch (Congress) did not have the power to pass laws that are contrary to the Constitution, and that it was the role of the Judicial Branch to interpret the Constitution. This holding was never overturned and still holds true today.
In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially settled the struggle for power between the various branches of government by deciding that the President was not the ultimate ruler, neither was Congress, but it was the U.S. Constitution was the supreme law of the land. The power of the Constitution was superior to the power of the President, and the Executive Branch, and was superior to the power of Congress and the Legislative Branch
By deciding that the power of the Constitution was “King” and it was the U.S. Supreme Court that decided what the Constitution meant, it has been argued that the U.S. Supreme Court gave itself the highest powers in the land.
Please write at least 2 paragraphs answering the following questions:
Is it in the interests of the country for the Constitution to be the supreme power in the land? In other words, would it be better if the President or Congress had the highest power?
Is it fair that the U.S. Supreme Court, rather than the President, or Congress gets to decide what is constitutional and what is not? In other words, does the U.S. Supreme Court hold too much power?
For each landmark Supreme Court Case listed below, summarize: What Happened? Majority Ruling/ Decision of the Court and why? Significance Aftermath/How did it change the way things are done?
Marbury v. Madison
McCulloch v Maryland
Gibbons v. Ogden
Dred Scott Decision
Plessy v. Ferguson
Schenk v. United States
Korematsu v. United States
Mapp v. Ohio
Engel v Vitale
Brown v. Board of Education
Miranda v. Arizona
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
United States v. Virginia (VMI)
Tinker v. DesMoines
United States v. Nixon