Mcculloch V. Ireland Case Summary

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Title and Citation: McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 407 (1819)

Facts: James McCulloch was a cashier in the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States who refused to pay the taxes that were to be collected by the state of Maryland. Maryland clearly imposed taxes on all banks that were not originally incorporated by the state. After trying to collect McCulloch’s taxes, the State of Maryland filed a lawsuit because McCulloch denied his portion of the taxes.

Procedural history of the case:
The General Assembly of Maryland passed an act imposing tax on all banks, or branches in the State of Maryland not chartered by the legislature. The State of Maryland took McCulloch to court in order to collect his unpaid taxes. McCulloch
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Voters included Chief Justice Marshall, and Justices Washington, Johnson, Livingston, Todd, Duvall and Story. The author of the majority opinion was John Marshall.

Holding of the case: The case established that the Constitution does grant Congress implied powers in order to implement the Constitutions express powers which are used to create an effective national government. Yet the State does not have the power to obstruct valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government. Therefore, Maryland’s law to impose taxes on the Second Bank of the U.S was found unconstitutional and the Supreme Court invoked the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution.

Majority’s reasoning: Marshall delivered the majority opinion and stated that the government is acknowledged by all to have a set of enumerated powers, yet the states are only allowed to exercise the powers granted to the state. The Court found that Congress is not authorized to make all laws, which may have relation to the powers of the government. They are to make laws that seem ‘necessary and proper’ and they are responsible for carrying them into proper

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