Thomas Jefferson Judicial Review – Term Paper

What did thomas jefferson believe in

Thomas Jefferson


United States of America.

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Dear Sir,

Re: Response to your opinion on the Supreme Court’s sole right to interpret laws.

Succinctly, I beg to differ with a section of your views on the Supreme Court’s exclusive right to interpret the laws. First, the right to interpret laws does not necessarily make the judiciary a despotic branch as you asserted. Contrary to your conviction, the judicial review does not set the supreme court on an absolute path but separates it from the Congress and the executive. Be that as it may, the assumption of the right to interpretation by the judiciary is not plausible. The constitution had primarily left the meaning of Article III under which the federal court system was founded open to discussion. What’s more, the scope of the Supreme court was not also clearly defined.

Second, although the Marbury vs. Madison ruling may not have been plausible, it was the best decision given the circumstances of the case. Chief Justice John Marshall’s decision stirred a ripple effect that paved the way for judicial progress and established the judicial review. Most remarkably, the ruling prevented a clash between the two branches of the federal government by affirming that the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to order the executive.

Power of judicial review

Third, the decision that gave the Court the power of judicial review answered two significant questions. One, did Marbury have a right to his petition? Two, did the constitution accord the courts the jurisdiction to grant Marbury his writ?  The chief justice ruled that the appointment by President John Adams was procedural according to the law thus he had a right to the writ. It was, therefore, the responsibility of the court system to protect individual rights even from the executive. Whereas Section 13 of the Judicial Act of 1789 granted the court the jurisdiction to grant the writ, Marshall declared this section to be unconstitutional. At this point, I support your firm opinion that the notion of the Supreme court’s sole interpretation right makes it tyrannical. Instead, the branches of the federal government should be checks on each other.

In synopsis, whereas some of your views are founded, I believe the ruling in particular and the constitutional review, in general, were plausible in light of the underlying circumstances. 

Yours sincerely,