210 years ago, on February 24, 1803, the Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the basis for judicial review of congressional and executive actions. This is a dramatization about Marbury v. Madison produced by the Judicial Conference of the United States in 1977 in association with WQED Pittsburgh. It was one in a series of four films produced about landmark Supreme Court cases heard by Chief Justice John Marshall. The case stemmed from a partisan dispute between outgoing Federalists and incoming Republicans. The outgoing president, John Adams and soon to be minority Federalists in Congress appointed numerous Federalists to the judiciary, including William Marbury. The incoming president Thomas Jefferson ordered his Secretary of State James Madison not to deliver the appointed commissions.
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