courts and procedure

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

The Supreme Court case that established the power of judicial review. (Read the opinion here).

During President John Adams’ lame duck session of his presidency, he appointed Marbury as a justice of the peace and signed the commission. Soon thereafter, Thomas Jefferson became President of the United States and refused to allow Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the commission to Marbury. Marbury sued Madison in the Supreme Court to get his commission via a writ of mandamus.

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Baker v. Carr (1962)

Definition

A Supreme Court case that held that federal courts could hear cases that claimed that malapportionment of state legislatures violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. By holding that such cases were justiciable, the Supreme Court paved the way for federal courts (and not just state courts) to hear and decide on reapportionment issues.

Allen Charge

Definition

An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Some states prohibit Allen charges, because they deem them coercive, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their use in Allen v. U.S., 164 U.S. 492 (1896).

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