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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2003




University of Minnesota




To serious students of the Constitution, Chief Justice Marshall's discussion of judicial review in Marbury v. Madisont was about judicial equality-the power of the courts, co-equal to the similar powers of the legislative and executive departments, to construe and apply the Constitution in the course of their duties. To less serious students of the Constitution, Marbury was about judicial supremacy-the supposedly paramount power of courts to interpret and apply the Constitution in a fashion that binds other legal actors, including the legislative and executive departments and state officials.

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