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This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions. Marbury v. Madison is a landmark case of the U.S. Supreme Court that was decided on February 24, 1803. It would declare, that if the legislature shall do what is expressly forbidden, such act, notwithstanding the express prohibition, is in reality effectual. He acts, in this respect, as has been very properly stated at the bar, under the authority of law, and not by the instructions of the president. The judgment in that case is understood to have decided the merits of all claims of that description; and the persons, on the report of the commissioners, found it necessary to pursue the mode prescribed by the law subsequent to that which had been deemed unconstitutional, in order to place themselves on the pension list. The case involved a dispute between outgoing President John Adams and incoming President Thomas Jefferson. That this question might be properly settled, congress passed an act in February 1793, making it the duty of the secretary of war, in conjunction with the attorney general, to take such measures as might be necessary to obtain an adjudication of the supreme court of the United States on the validity of any such rights, claimed under the act aforesaid. As with most aspects of the U.S. Constitution, the meaning of Article III was left open to interpretation. If one of the heads of departments commits any illegal act, under colour of his office, by which an individual sustains an injury, it cannot be pretended that his office alone exempts him from being sued in the ordinary mode of proceeding, and being compelled to obey the judgment of the law. Or, in the words of Lord Mansfield, the applicant, in this case, has a right to execute an office of public concern, and is kept out of possession of that right. The clerks of the Department of State of the United States may be called upon to give evidence of transactions in the Department which are not of a confidential character. It must be well recollected that in 1792 an act passed, directing the secretary at war to place on the pension list such disabled officers and soldiers as should be reported to him by the circuit courts, which act, so far as the duty was imposed on the courts, was deemed unconstitutional; but some of the judges, thinking that the law might be executed by them in the character of commissioners, proceeded to act and to report in that character. In cases of commissions to public officers, the law orders the Secretary of State to record them. Marbury went to the Supreme Court in an attempt to gain his post. At the last term, on the affidavits then read and filed with the clerk, a rule was granted in this case, requiring the secretary of state to show cause why a mandamus should not issue, directing him to deliver to William Marbury his commission as a justice of the peace for the county of Washington, in the district of Columbia. But John Marshall, who served from 1801 to 1835, influenced the action of the Supreme Court in ways still felt in the United States today. This brings us to the second inquiry; which is. Suppose a duty on the export of cotton, of tobacco, or of flour; and a suit instituted to recover it. These are the clauses of the constitution and laws of the United States, which affect this part of the case.

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