The Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland established that Congress had the power to establish a national bank and that a state (in this case, Maryland) did not have the power to tax branches of the federal government that are carrying out powers legal in the Constitution. Chief Justice Marshall wrote that the states did indeed have the power to levy taxes, but that the federal laws control the laws in the states, which cannot control the federal institutions.Continue Reading
The background of this case began in 1816, when Congress issued a charter for the Second Bank of the United States. Two years later, the state of Maryland passed a law imposing taxes on the bank. The cashier in the Baltimore bank branch, James W. McCulloch, would not pay the tax, so the litigation began.
The Supreme Court decision in McCulloch v. Maryland was a unanimous 7-0 (the Supreme Court would grow to its current size of nine justices later). The legal foundation of the decision was Article I of the United States Constitution, Section 8, Clauses 1 and 18. The notion of the country operating a bank caused significant controversy throughout the early nineteenth century, leading President Andrew Jackson to lead a charge to "break the bank."Learn more about Law
A summary of McCulloch v. Maryland that briefly highlights the case's facts, legal question, and holding is available at Oyez.com. The Public Broadcasting Service also describes the case on its website, and the full opinion is accessible at Supreme.Justia.comFull Answer >
The Necessary and Proper Clause refers to a section of the United States Constitution that grants Congress the authority to create and enforce laws that are deemed "necessary and proper" by the powers granted to the branches of the government by the Constitution's various provisions. The clause is found under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.Full Answer >
In Gibbons v. Ogden in 1824, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Commerce Clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress had the power to regulate commerce crossing state lines. According to PBS, this ruling included transportation and guarded against conflicting state legislation.Full Answer >
The Gibbons v. Ogden trial of 1824 was an important decision where the Supreme Court ruled that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution granted the Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, including navigation of interstate seaways. The trial started when Thomas Gibbons, a steamboat owner, opposed the extensive fees required to navigate his steamboats in the waters of New Jersey and New York.Full Answer >