Case Study: Mcculloch Vs. Maryland

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Samantha Turner Schnorbus – History 101 October 3 2014 McCulloch v. Maryland Maryland’s failed tax attempt of 1817 In order to solve the problem of unregulated currency in the states, Congress passed an act added the Second Bank of the United States in 1817. Little did they know they know at the time, Congress had created one of the most important court cases on implied powers. This because a year after the Second Bank of the United States opened a branch in Maryland, the state passed an act in which a tax would be imposed on all banks (or branches) in their borders. James McCulloch, the man in charge of Maryland’s branch refused to pay the tax. This lead to a lawsuit that was vindicated in favor of Maryland. When the case was appealed…show more content…
Firstly, whether or not Congress was able, by the constitution, to create and implement a bank. Secondly, if Maryland was able to tax the bank without violating the constitution. With every vote for McCulloch, the court determined that congress was able given the power to create a bank. He had four reasons to do so. Firstly on historical reference, since they created the first Bank of the United States, it was under the constitution for them to create another. Second, Marshal stated that when the states ratified the Constitution, they gave up the right to be sovereign, dismissing the power to become above the law of the land. Third, he admitted that they do not have the power to establish a bank, but it is their power to expound the constitution. Fourth and finally, Marshall had noted, “the constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme . . . they control the constitution and laws of the respective states, and cannot be controlled by them.” (oyez) Since there is nothing in the constitution saying that Congress does not have the power to create a bank congress ruled that under the elastic, Necessary and Proper Clause, Congress possessed the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution.” (ourdocuments) Therefor they had the right to create a new bank. Marshall declared that Maryland does not have the right to tax the bank without violating the Constitution. This case is important to our history because it was one of the first starting points for the formation between federal and state powers. Because of this case, we know not all federal laws need to be necessary and proper, but when laws are added that express enumerated powers they do not need to be necessary and proper. They are not meant to lessen the powers of the government, or restrict the powers they already have. But they are meant to get what is needed to get done,
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