Marbury v. Madison was a Supreme Court decision in the year 1803. It started when John Adams lost re-election and appointed federal judges to be a thorn in the side of the incoming president Thomas Jefferson. One of Adams' picks was enraged when Jefferson tried to deny him the role of judge because the Senate too long to confirm him in time. The Supreme Court ruled that courts had the power to strike down laws, statues, and government acts that contradicted the United States Constitution. This decision is almost universally considered to be the court's greatest case.