Jul 16, 2017 Research papers

Fiege v. Boehm

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Case Brief: Fiege v. Boehm



Sample Student Answer

The following is a better than average answer submitted by a student for this assignment.  (It has not been edited)


Marbury v. Madison

United States Supreme Court

1 Cranch (5 U.S.) 137 (1803)

Judicial History:  Under the authority of the Judiciary Act of 1789, Marbury filed suit directly with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to issue a writ of mandamus to force delivery of Marbury’s commission.    

Facts:  President Adams appointed Marbury as a D.C. Justice of the Peace during the last days of the Adams’ administration.  The approval process was completed and Marbury’s commission was signed, but had not been delivered before President Jefferson took office.  Jefferson’s Secretary of State, James Madison refused to deliver Marbury’s commission.


1. Does Marbury have a right to the commission?

2. Is there a remedy? 

3. If so, is that remedy a mandamus from the Supreme Court?



1.  Marbury’s appointment was legal.


2. Mandamus is proper to force issuance of the commission. 


3. The Judiciary Act is unconstitutional because original jurisdiction cannot be expanded, so SCOTUS cannot issue a writ of mandamus.


1. The Constitution grants the Executive branch to appoint executive officers.  The Constitution granted the Legislature the power to create and staff inferior federal courts.  Marbury was recommended by the President and approved by Congress.  The position that he received, was by law, a five-year non-revocable appointment.  Marbury’s commission was proper and Marbury has a right to receive his commission.

2.  Since Marbury has a legal right to the commission, denying the delivery of that appointment, is unlawful.  A writ of mandamus is proper to order delivery of the commission.  Detinue would be unsatisfactory as the commission is a position, not a thing, and the value thereof is indeterminable.  Marbury has a valid controversy that is redressable through a writ of mandamus.

3.  Although all branches of the federal government have the responsibility to comply with the Constitution, “(i)t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”  Since the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land,” a “legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law,” and the judiciary will be the final arbiter of the constitutionality of laws.  The law upon which Marbury based his claim was the Judiciary Act of 1789 which expanded the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.  The Constitution, under Article III created two categories of jurisdiction for the Supreme Court: original and appellate.  The Constitution expressly stated which cases would be original and that in all others SCOTUS “shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”  Consequently, the Judiciary Act of 1789, which added original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, is unconstitutional - “a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law.”  As such, SCOTUS has no jurisdiction in this case.


Brief case: Fiege v. Boehm University Name Surname Date Course Fiege v. Boehm Courts of Maryland 18th June 1956 210 Md. 35 Judicial history Hilda Louise Boehm being the plaintiff brought a case against Gail Fiege in Maryland Court of Baltimore City. The suit was brought forward to enforce expenses such as medical and administrative costs associated with the birth of their related daughter. The defendant was also to be sued to provide financial support neglected for the respondent illegitimate daughter. Boehm also brought forward declara


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