Federal Courts in History

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Case background and primary source documents concerning the Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison. Setting the precedent of Judicial review, this lesson focuses on the question of whether or not the Supreme Court should have the power to overturn unconstitutional federal laws.

Founding Principles

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Limited Government

Citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers which protect their life, liberty, and property.

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Separation of Powers

A system of distinct powers built into the Constitution to prevent an accumulation of power in one branch.

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