Today marks the 200th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Marbury v. Madison, in which Chief Justice Marshall famously announced the doctrine of judicial review. In honor of the event, the Washington Post offers an article here discussing the opinion. Students in my class have heard too much about this case, but will recognize the WaPo article as advocating a "strong" form reading of Marbury as an aggressive check on the other branches. For those who haven’t read the case before, the decision is available here. (Thanks to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for bringing this story to my attention.
Now to the contest. Everyone knows that Marbury was the first time that the Supreme Court exercised judicial review, right? Wrong. The Supreme Court used the power of judicial review to strike down a state law in one case preceding Marbury, and while expressly reserving the question of its power to do so, had reviewed the constitutionality of a federal statute in another. (Careful readers will note that circuits courts also exercised this power, but I’m looking for Supreme Court cases.) The first reader to name one of the two Supreme Court cases wins a No Left Turns Mug. (Hint: I’m not looking for a dissenting or separate opinion.)