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Towards A More Perfect Union

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The supreme case of Marbury v. Madison of 1803 arose when John Adams from Federalist party was defeated in the presidential elections by Thomas Jefferson of the Democratic-Republican Party and therefore he decided to appoint many justices to head commissions but when Jefferson assumed power he stopped their deliverance. William Marbury was amongst those appointees and he launched a petition or legal order with Supreme Court so as to force Madison to give him back his commission. Supreme Court operated on the rule of law and argued that Marbury had the right to the appointed commission after being signed by the then president, Adams. More so, the rule of law dwells on the provision of remedy since it is contained in the civil liberty provisions. The ruling found out that Supreme Court had supremacy to review all the acts of legislative body since it was its duty to interpret the law. Even though Supreme Court turned down Marbury’s petition but the case helped in defining the boundaries between the executive and judicial branches of the government and showed that Supreme Court had the authority over judicial review.

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McCullough v. Maryland

The Maryland State on February 1818 endorsed an act commanding tax on each and every bank offering services in the state and which were not charted or rather licensed by the state. The Baltimore Second Bank’s branch did not adhere to these statutes whereby a cashier, James McCulloch, was sued by the state for failing to comply with the statute and he appealed to Supreme Court since he argued that the act was unconstitutional. The issues which arose were whether the Maryland state had the authority to levy an institute formed by the U.S. Congress, and if the Congress had the authority to integrate a bank in the U.S. Constitution. Supreme Court ruled that the Congress had the authority to integrate a bankwith respect to the U.S. Constitution and most importantly that Maryland State had no power in taxing an institution formed by the Congress. The court further declared that the federal government was overall and all institutions built by central government were under its control.

Gibbons v. Ogden – 1824

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In 1807, Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton successfully made navigations into the New York Hudson River and the two negotiated a pact where the New York State granted them an exclusive, permanent agreement to operate as well as license any steam-driven vessels within the waters of the Hudson River in New York. Apparently Aaron Ogden was licensed by Livingston to make operations between New Jersey and New York. The New Jersey entrepreneur Thomas Gibbons used the same river under the license given by central government. After Gibbons being prevented from landing in New York by the local court, he appealed from Supreme Court citing that central government’s licensing was superior to the state licensing’s requirements and the debate tackled the commerce act. The ruling was that the State had no powers in enacting regulations which would regulate a completely internal affair. More so, the state did not have the power to regulate interstate commerce and also the state did not posses the authority to give special rights to the usage of the state steerable waters which were conflicting with the central law.

Dred Scott v. Sanford – 1857

Dred Scott was apparently a slave to John Emerson and lived in the liberated Illinois state before relocating to Missouri. After the death of his master, he appealed to Supreme Court, so that he may be granted freedom since he had lived in a free state before. The court ruled against Scott as it declared that black slaves were never the U.S. citizens even if thhey were free. More so, the court illegalized the Missouri Compromise of 1820 thus allowing slavery to rampage through the country. This ruling sparked massive civil wars in the fight against slavery which saw the enactment of the 13th (1865) and 14th (1868) Amendments.

Plessy v. Ferguson – 1892

In 1892, Plessy tried to travel in a railroad automobile which was designated for all whites and was prosecuted for violating the 1890 Louisiana decree. The rule of law required that segregation in transportation sector was in accordance with the 14th Amendment. The appeal was whether segregation in facilities was in line with the 13th and 14th Amendments and Supreme Court ruled that the 13th and 14th Amendments were not broken; therefore it sustained the Louisiana state law which was for segregation. This landmark ruling upheld that isolation between whites and blacks was constitutional and this led to the enactment of Jim Crow laws which established Jim Crow institutions and facilities like public buildings, public transportations, public schools, and the U.S. military.

Brown v. Board of Education – 1954

Linda, who was a 7 year old kid, was denied entry to a nearby white’s school due to her race and this Kansas case was conjoined with related suits from Virginia, South Carolina, and Delaware. The rule of law dictated was Jim Crow law which advocated for segregation in the learning institutions. The main issue was whether the concept of separation with equal rules has broken the 14th Amendment. The ruling affirmed that segregation in whites and blacks public schools was unconstitutional. This was a landmark ruling seen as a transformational event which brought the dawn of a social and political revolution.

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