In high school, we memorize the key terminology. In law school, we delve a bit deeper into John Marshall's masterpiece. Yet, we never touch on some of the most interesting aspects of the flagship of judicial review. Here are some fun facts about Marbury v. Madison
that you probably will not find in your Constitutional Law book.
MARBURY CAMPAIGNED AGAINST JEFFERSON
In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the Presidency of the United States by three electoral votes. A loophole in the Constitution made the second-highest electoral vote winner the Vice President. Accordingly, Adams' political rival, Thomas Jefferson, became second in command.
Also in 1796, William Marbury, a Federalist, was appointed financial Agent for the State of Maryland - perhaps the most powerful unelected state position. Marbury's success was noted by the Federalist elite in Washington. In 1798, Marbury was named to the board of directors of an influential D.C. bank. The next year, he was tapped by Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert to become the purchasing agent for the new Washington Navy Yard. Marbury moved to Georgetown and became part of President Adams' inner circle.
By 1800, Adams' prospects for a second term in office were grim. Adams' friends did not forget the three electoral votes from 1796. Marbury and other Adams supporters knew that if Maryland's electoral votes were cast as a statewide Federalist bloc, then Adams would be assured the election of 1800. First, though, Maryland's electoral laws had to change.
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