Being unable to assume the appointed offices without the commission documents, Marbury and three others petitioned the Court to force Madison to deliver the commission to Marbury. The Supreme Court denied Marburys petition, holding that the statute upon which he based his claim was unconstitutional.
Irons (1999) wrote, in a style suitable for non-lawyers, of special interest to social activists and and critical race theory, as well as how issues of race have been shaped by, and in turn shaped, major decisions of the Supreme Court.1 Irons provided the case by adding to the "human interest" factor making it entertaining (and sometimes emotionally wrenching) and educational. In his first section "To Establish a More Perfect Union," he wrote about the background in the framing of the constitution and the origins of the Supreme Court while in the next section, "It Is a Constitution We Are Expounding," Irons wrote about the separation of powers and the Supreme Courts jurisdiction evolved discussing Marbury vs. Madison.
Irons (1999) narrated how the Court rendered a unanimous (4-0) decision stating that Marbury had the right to his commission but the court did not have the power to force Madison to deliver the commission, on February 24, 1803. Chief Justice Marshall wrote the opinion of the court. Marshall presented the case as raising three distinct questions: (1) Did Marbury have a right to the commission? (2) Do the laws of the country give Marbury a legal remedy? (3) Is asking the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus the correct legal remedy?
Marshall quickly answered the first two questions affirmatively. He found that the failure to deliver the commission was "violative of a vested legal right." In deciding whether Marbury had a remedy, Marshall stated: "The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws and not of men. It will certainly cease to deserve this high