In Mcculloch V. Maryland, What Did The State Of Maryland Argue?
Summary – It was 1819 and the United States had been a nation under the Constitution for barely a generation when an important case about federal power reached the Court. After a first attempt in 1791, Congress established the second National Bank of the United States in 1816.
- Many states opposed branches of the National Bank within their borders.
- They did not want the National Bank competing with their own banks, and objected to the establishment of a National Bank as an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s power.
- The state of Maryland imposed a tax on the bank of $15,000/year, which cashier James McCulloch of the Baltimore branch refused to pay.
The case went to the Supreme Court. Maryland argued that as a sovereign state, it had the power to tax any business within its borders. McCulloch’s attorneys argued that a national bank was “necessary and proper” for Congress to establish in order to carry out its enumerated powers.
Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, “Although, among the enumerated powers of government, we do not find the word ‘bank,’ we find the great powers to lay and collect taxes; to borrow money; to regulate commerce Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional.” Further, the Court ruled that Maryland could not tax the national bank: “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy.
If the states may tax one instrument, employed by the government in the execution of its powers, they may tax any and every other instrument This was not intended by the American people. They did not design to make their government dependent on the states.” Marshall also noted an important difference between the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation (the United States’ first governing document that had been replaced by the Constitution).
- 0.1 What were the two arguments in the case McCulloch v Maryland?
- 1 What happened in McCulloch v Maryland summary?
- 1.1 What was the McCulloch v. Maryland case about quizlet?
- 1.2 What was Maryland’s primary legal argument in McCulloch v Maryland quizlet?
What was the legal argument in McCulloch v Maryland?
McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S.316 (1819) Annotation Primary Holding States cannot interfere with the federal government when it uses its implied powers under the Necessary and Proper Clause to further its express constitutional powers. Facts The U.S. Congress created the Second Bank of the United States in 1816.
A year later, the Bank opened a banch in Baltimore, Maryland, where it carried out all the normal operations of a bank. Its legitimacy was based solely on the applicability of the U.S. Constitution to Maryland. In 1818, however, the Maryland legislature voted to impose a tax on all banks within the state that were not chartered by the legislature.
The Second Bank of the United States refused to comply with the law, resulting in a lawsuit against its head, James William McCulloch. The state successfully argued on appeal to the state appellate court that the Second Bank was unconstitutional because the Consititution did not provide a textual commitment for the federal government to charter a bank.
John Marshall (Author) Bushrod Washington William Johnson, Jr. Henry Brockholst Livingston Thomas Todd Gabriel Duvall Joseph Story
In this unanimous decision, Marshall observed that the Second Bank was no different from the First Bank of the United States, of which the constitutionality had not been challenged. Echoing the decision in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, he also noted that the people rather than the states were responsible for ratifying the U.S.
Constitution and thus taking away a measure of sovereignty from the states. He did not find it necessary to establish a textual basis in the Constitution that specifically addressed banks. The most notable section of Marshall’s opinion concerned the Necessary and Proper Clause. He rejected the state’s argument that this clause was confined to authorizing only laws that were absolutely essential to carrying out its enumerated powers.
Marshall felt that a broader interpretation was warranted, since the clause was not placed among the limitations on Congressional authority and thus should be viewed as an expansion on its authority. As a result, he redefined the meaning of “necessary” as something closer to “appropriate and legitimate,” covering all methods for furthering the objectives covered by the enumerated powers.
Moreover, Marshall struck down the tax as applied to the Second Bank as unconstitutional. Case Commentary Later commentators have continued to challenge the logic in Marshall’s opinion, some of them suggesting that it infringes on the Tenth Amendment. However, it remains valid to the current day, and his view that the federal government derives sovereignty from the people rather than the states has been widely accepted.
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What was the state of Maryland’s argument in the Supreme Court case?
Background – Shortly after George Washington was inaugurated as the nation’s first president in 1789, his Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, proposed a plan to create a national bank. The idea was controversial from the start. Thomas Jefferson, who was Secretary of State at the time, feared having a central bank to regulate American currency would take too much power away from the states.
- Fans of the hit musical Hamilton might recognize this as the conflict from “Cabinet Battle #1.”) And the 1787 Constitutional Convention deliberately decided that the Constitution should not give Congress the power to create corporations.
- But, Congress opted to try out Hamilton’s idea, creating the First Bank of the United States with a 20-year charter.
Then, they let the charter lapse in 1811. However, the nation faced significant economic problems after the War of 1812, which prompted Congress to create the Second Bank of the United States in 1816. Some states passed laws to try and undermine the national bank’s operations.
Others, like Maryland, decided to tax it. In 1818, Maryland’s state legislature passed a $15,000 annual tax on any bank operating within the state that was not charted by the state government. Only one institution fit that description – The Second Bank of the United States. James W. McCulloch, the head of the bank’s Baltimore branch, refused to pay the tax.
The state of Maryland argued that because the Constitution was “silent on the subject of banks,” the federal government was not authorized to create one. But when the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1819, the court disagreed.
What were the two arguments in the case McCulloch v Maryland?
For McCulloch v. Maryland, there were two questions the Court was trying to answer: Did Congress have the authority to establish the bank under the Constitution? Did the Maryland law unconstitutionally interfere with congressional powers?
What happened in McCulloch v Maryland summary?
The Supreme Court, The First Hundred Years, Landmark Cases, McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) | PBS A pro-Andrew Jackson political cartoon applauds the president’s September 1833 order for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. On the right, Jackson, cheered on by Major Jack Downing, holds aloft a scroll with the words “Order for the Removal of Public Money.” To the left, the combined opposition to the president’s move – represented by Bank President Nicholas Biddle, Whig Senators Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, and the pro-Bank press – are ridiculed.
Reproduction courtesy of the Library of Congress McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had implied powers under the of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to create the Second Bank of the United States and that the state of Maryland lacked the power to tax the Bank.
Arguably finest opinion, McCulloch not only gave Congress broad discretionary power to implement the enumerated powers, but also repudiated, in ringing language, the radical states’ rights arguments presented by counsel for Maryland. At issue in the case was the constitutionality of the act of Congress chartering the Second Bank of the United States (BUS) in 1816.
- Although the Bank was controlled by private stockholders, it was the depository of federal funds.
- In addition, it had the authority to issue notes that, along with the notes of states’ banks, circulated as legal tender.
- In return for its privileged position, the Bank agreed to loan the federal government money in lieu of taxes.
State banks looked on the BUS as a competitor and resented its privileged position. When state banks began to fail in the depression of 1818, they blamed their troubles on the Bank. One such state was Maryland, which imposed a hefty tax on “any bank not chartered within the state.” The Bank of the United States was the only bank not chartered within the state.
When the Bank’s Baltimore branch refused to pay the tax, Maryland sued James McCulloch, cashier of the branch, for collection of the debt. McCulloch responded that the tax was unconstitutional. A state court ruled for Maryland, and the affirmed. McCulloch appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reviewed the case in 1819.
In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Marshall, the Court ruled that the Bank of the United States was constitutional and that the Maryland tax was unconstitutional. Concerning the power of Congress to charter a bank, the Court turned to the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, Section 8, which expressly grants Congress the power to pass laws “necessary and proper” for the execution of its “enumerated powers.” The enumerated powers of Congress include the power to regulate interstate commerce, collect taxes, and borrow money.
Said the Court famously, “let the ends be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adopted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional.” In other words, because the creation of the Bank was appropriately related to Congress’s legitimate power to tax, borrow, and regulate, the Bank was constitutional under the Necessary and Proper Clause.
Second, the Court ruled that Maryland lacked the power to tax the Bank because, pursuant to the of Article VI of the Constitution, the laws of the United States trump conflicting state laws. As Marshall put it, “the government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action, and its laws, when made in pursuance of the constitution, form the supreme law of the land.” Because “the power to tax is the power to destroy,” Maryland was unconstitutionally undermining the superior laws and institutions of the United States.
- Finally, the Court held that the “sovereignty” (political authority) of the Union lies with the people of the United States, not with the individual states that comprise it.
- The United States, not a simple alliance of states, is a nation of “constitutional sovereignty” with its authority resting exclusively with “the people” who created and are governed by the Constitution.
To the Court, “the government of the Union is a government of the people; it emanates from them; its powers are granted by them; and are to be exercised directly on them, and for their benefit.” Maryland’s tax, however, violated constitutional sovereignty because it acted as a levy against all the people in the United States by a state accountable to only some of the people.
- If “promised” that the Supreme Court would exercise great authority in shaping the laws of the land, McCulloch v.
- Maryland fulfilled that promise for the first time.
- Arguably no other decision has so profoundly defined national power.
- In one case, the Court expanded Congress’ powers to include those implied by the Constitution, established the inferior status of the states in relation to the Union, and set the constitutional sovereignty of the federal government.
McCulloch remains today a fundamental and binding bedrock of American constitutional law.
|Alex McBride is a third year law student at Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He is articles editor on the TULANE LAW REVIEW and the 2005 recipient of the Ray Forrester Award in Constitutional Law. In 2007, Alex will be clerking with Judge Susan Braden on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington.|
The Supreme Court, The First Hundred Years, Landmark Cases, McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) | PBS
What was the McCulloch v. Maryland case about quizlet?
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.
What was the state of Maryland’s claim that was upheld by the Maryland Court?
The court of appeals upheld Maryland’s argument that because the Constitution was specifically silent on the subject of whether the United States government could charter a bank, the Bank of the United States was unconstitutional.
What was Maryland’s primary legal argument in McCulloch v Maryland quizlet?
What was Maryland’s primary legal argument in McCulloch v. Maryland? The enumerated powers under Article 1 do not provide Congress the power to create a national bank.
What constitutional principle did the Supreme Court establish in the McCulloch case?
This case established two important principles in constitutional law: (1) the Constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the Constitution’s express powers, in order to create a functional national government, and (2) state action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal