Supreme Court 1789-Civil War Period

444 Words2 Pages
From 1789 to the Civil War period the Supreme Court sought to legitimize a number of Constitutional, legal, and political principals that they asserted were essential in the development of the Republic. The framers of the Constitution left many doubts in the meaning and the nature of the Supreme Courts authority. The Court needed to establish and practice the doctrine of Judicial Independence; establish the power of the judiciary and defend the Union. The Court needed to establish that judicial review was solely the Supreme courts power. The Supreme Court recognized that Judicial Review must also be cultivated into Judicial Sovereignty; the idea that a law may be held unconstitutional and binding on the other branches. The nation-state relationship served as the greatest obstacle for the Supreme Court in preserving the Union. In order to preserve the American Union the Supreme Court steered the cases, of the period, in order to create a consolidated nation-state. Preserving the American Union is reflected in all decisions of the cases the cases that fallow. In the case Marbury v. Madison the Supreme Court invalidated a law, passed by Congress, by declaring an act unconstitutional for the first time. The doctrine of Judicial Review was set forth by this case. The Court did not want to show vulnerability of its judicial prestige so it only asserted minimal power. Marshall’s decision suggests he was aware of the long-term objective to enhance judicial powers and diminish state autonomy. In Fletcher v. Peck in 1810 Marshall was ready to declare a state law unconstitutional. Judicial power and prestige was ready to preserve the Union. The case is the first clear precedent that Supreme Court is empowered to hold state laws unconstitutional This case marked the end of the Courts struggle to find its place in American Government; the Supreme Court began to be accepted
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