Marbury Vs. Madison
In the Marbury Vs. Madison, in 1803, the supreme court announced for the first time the principal that a court may declare an act of Congress void if it is inconsistent with the constitution. William Marbury had been appointed a justice of the peace for the District of Columbia in the left hours of the Adams administration. When James Madison, refused to deliver Marbury's commission, Marbury, joined by three other similarly situated appointees, petitioned for a writ of mandamus compelling delivery of the commissions. Chief Justice John Marshall didn't agree with the petition and refused to issue the writ. He found that the petitioners were entitled to their commissions, he held that the Constitution did not give the Supreme Court the power to issue writs of mandamus. Section 13 of the Judiciary Act provided that such writes might be issued, but that section of the act was inconsistent with the Constitution and was also invalid. The immediate effect of the decision was to deny power to the Court, its long run effect has been to increase the Court's power by setting up the rule that 'it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.'