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In Marbury v. Madison (1803), the fledgling U.S. Supreme Court asserted its authority both to review acts of Congress and to invalidate those acts that conflict with the U.S. Constitution. In a case that depended upon power granted to the Court by Congress over and above what the Constitution provided, the Court emphasized that the Constitution is paramount. At the same time, the Court established itself as the appropriate body to evaluate whether a law either conflicts with or conforms to the Constitution. Marbury v. Madison is thus an important case defining the concept of judicial review that is so important in cases relating to schools and many other aspects of American life.

Facts of the Case

The facts in Marbury reflect the politics of the day. ...

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