Lead: In Marbury v. Madison Chief Justice John Marshall made the federal court system an equal partner in national affairs.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: In 1803 Marshall gave teeth to the Federal court system by declaring a law passed by Congress, signed by the President, to be unconstitutional. He established the principal of judicial review. Just before leaving office in 1801 President John Adams had appointed a large number of his party, the Federalists, to office. One of these so-called "midnight judges" was John Marshall, another was William Marbury, appointed Justice of the Peace of the District of Columbia. He was confirmed by the Senate, but his commission was not delivered. The new President, Thomas Jefferson refused to deliver it. Marbury sued to force its delivery. Such an order was a writ of mandamus, a command order.