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McCulloch v. Maryland. Argued Feb 22, 1819 Decided March 6, 1819. Background. 2 nd Bank of the USA established in 1816 Set up to stabilize economy of US Called for states to pay back their loans (the nerve!) States got mad. Background.

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mcculloch v maryland

McCulloch v. Maryland

Argued Feb 22, 1819

Decided March 6, 1819

  • 2nd Bank of the USA established in 1816
  • Set up to stabilize economy of US
  • Called for states to pay back their loans (the nerve!)
  • States got mad
  • Maryland levied a tax on any bank not chartered by the state
  • State officers came to Bank of US to collect tax
  • James McCulloch was cashier of Baltimore branch—refused to pay
the argument
The Argument
  • Maryland argued that Congress didn’t have the power to create a national bank
  • Maryland asserted its right to regulate commerce within its own borders
law in question 1
Law in Question #1
  • US Constitution—A1 §8 ¶1-3, 18
    • The Congress shall have power…to lay and collecttaxes…to pay thedebts…of the United States
    • To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
    • To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes
    • To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers
law in question 2
Law in Question #2
  • US Constitution—A6 ¶2-3
      • This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land
      • …the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution

Supreme Court ruled unanimously:

  • Necessary and Proper Clause gives unlisted (implied) powers to Congress
  • Federal laws are supreme over state laws:
    • States cannot interfere with federal activities
    • States cannot tax the federal government
long term impact
Long-term impact
  • N&P Clause allows Congress to increase its powers beyond what is listed in Constitution
  • Cemented federal government position over state governments