Madison was a very controversial court case, that involved the courts themselves. The cases began with William Marbury suing the Secretary of State James Madison. William Marbury was suing for James Madison to force him to deliver his commission as a justice of the peace (Marbury V. Madison, 1). The case was taken to the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice John Marshall and the other justices were faced with dueling outcomes that were going to be heavily criticized, regardless of what was right and. Chief Justice John Marshall was faced with the dilemmas of "awarding Marbury a writ of mandamus , the Jefferson administration would ignore it and if the court denied the writ it may appear that the justices acted out of fear" (Marbury V. Madison, 1).
After hearing the case Chief Justice John Marshall decide that Madison should have delivered the commission, but then Justice John Marshall also stated "the Judiciary Act of 1789 that gave the Supreme Court the power to issue writs of mandamus exceeded the authority allotted the Court under Article III of the Constitution and was there for null and void" (Marbury V. Madison, 2). By making the decision that he did, Chief Justice John Marshall was able to scorn the Jefferson Administration and yet, was able to maintain a situation where the court order would be flouted (Marbury V. Madison, 2). The decision stated that James Madison was wrong in not delivering the commission, but stated also that the court could not force James Madison to deliver the commission because it was beyond the courts original jurisdiction (Struggle for Democracy, 416). The case also scorned Congress for giving the courts too much power with the Judiciary Act of 1789.
After the decision of this case was made in 1803, Judicial Review was strengthened by Chief Justice John Marshall. Judicial Review is "the power of the Supreme Court to declare state and federal laws and actions null and void when they conflict with the constitution"(Struggle for Democracy, 414).