What was the outcome of the US Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland?

What was the outcome of the US Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland?

The Court ruled unanimously that Congress had the authority to establish the bank and that Maryland may not tax instruments of the national government used in the exercise of constitutional powers. The decision is often cited as an example of judicial restraint.

What did Chief Justice Marshall decide in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland?

John Marshall authored the majority opinion. The state of Maryland may not levy a tax on the bank. This was the first time the Supreme Court ruled on an interstate issue and it opened the way for other banks to be established.

Why did the Supreme Court rule against Maryland?

Second, the Court found that Maryland lacked the authority to tax the bank because, under the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the Constitution, federal laws supersede state laws. In other words, because Congress had not given Maryland the power to tax banks, then by default the state law prohibiting taxation of federal institutions was applied.

What was the legal argument in McCulloch v. Maryland against the federal government?

The matter was heard by the Supreme Court. Maryland contended that, as a sovereign state, it had the authority to tax any enterprise operating inside its borders. Attorneys for McCulloch contended that establishing a national bank was "necessary and reasonable" for Congress to do in order to carry out its specified responsibilities. They argued that if Congress could not establish such an institution, there would be no way for it to conduct business with other states or countries.

In a 7-1 decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall, the court agreed with McCulloch. It stated that the Federal Government was created by the Constitution which must be interpreted by courts to determine its validity. If Congress wants to levy taxes on businesses doing business within its boundaries, then it has the authority to do so.

However, the court went on to say that even if the federal government did have the authority to establish the bank, it still wouldn't have been constitutional because the tax imposed on the company was too high. The court noted that although Maryland had legalized slavery, it didn't allow its citizens to own slaves. This made importing slaves into the state illegal except under special circumstances. The import duty imposed on the company was more than enough to cover the cost of policing the border for violations of this law. Thus, the court concluded that because slavery was incompatible with the federal government's purpose of providing a general banking service to its citizens, the bank could not be set up.

What two legal questions did the McCulloch case present?

There were two problems. The first was whether Congress had the authority to establish a national bank in the first place, and the second was whether Maryland or other states had the authority to levy taxes on the bank's operations. If the bank was found to be constitutional, then its owners would have no right to claim tax-exempt status for it.

The case began when William McCulloch petitioned Congress for a charter granting him rights to create a federal bank. His proposal was rejected, so he sent his lawyer to argue the case before the Supreme Court. The court ruled 8 to 1 that Congress did indeed have the authority to grant the charter, thus making the bank constitutional.

In addition to ruling against the state taxes, the court also ruled against an excise tax imposed on the bank by Maryland. The judge who wrote the majority opinion said that since the bank was a creature of Congress, it could not be taxed by a state.

Justice John Marshall, who delivered the majority opinion, was known as the "father of the Constitution" because of his role in establishing how our country's government should function. He argued that the National Bank was necessary for the economic health of the country and would not jeopardize the sovereignty of any state. In fact, the court based its decision on this argument.

About Article Author

Bob Patterson

Bob Patterson is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He served for over 20 years, and during that time he traveled all over the world, including to active war zones. Bob's career involved intelligence work, but he decided to retire early so that he could spend more time with his family.

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