Tort Law

Case Brief
McCulloch v. Maryland
Facts (Anonymous, 2011)
The congressional legislation passed in 1816 rechartered United States Bank due to the fact that the original charter had expired following political disagreements on how the national bank should be constituted (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819). When they were lacking a charter, a law was passed by the Maryland state legislature which required that any bank which is not chartered by the state should pay tax of 2% on notes issued or pay a $1500 fee every year. If the banks fail to comply, they were to pay a fine worthy $500.00 every violation (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819). James McCulloch who was the cahier responsible for Baltimore Maryland branch of the US Bank failed to comply with this law. The reason for noncompliance was that the bank is a federal entity and state of Maryland had no authority to tax it. The State of Maryland argued that since the bank was in its geographical boundaries and its charter was unconstitutional, it had all the rights to pose taxation. The US bank was misusing the power of the national government. The national government should follow the laws of the state. McCulloch was declared guilty for not obeying the Maryland state law. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to hold McCulloch guilty and appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court via a writ of error.
Issues (Anonymous, 2011)
The issues in this case included; (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819) first whether or not the state of Maryland had the right and authority according to the US constitution to pose taxation on a bank which is a federal entity. Second is whether according the US constitution, the legislation chartering the US Bank was acceptable exercise of congressional powers.
Rule (Anonymous, 2011)
In the decision made by the United States Supreme Court, the act of congress creating the US Bank and acceptable exercise of implied power granted by the constitution (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819). The Supreme Court also ruled out that the state of Maryland law to impose tax on the US bank was against the Constitutional Supremacy Clause and therefore this was ruled in favor of McCulloch.
Analysis (Anonymous, 2011)
Chief Justice Marshall was able to define the implied powers given to the congress through the US Constitution. This definition was meant to uphold the constitutionality of the US Bank. In defining the implied powers, by putting it clear that there are no exclusions of implied powers provided in the constitution. Even according to the amendments, the constitution does not clearly state the powers which are not given to the United States (Rieksts, 2011). This makes it difficult to determine the powers given to the state and those given to the federal government. However, this is depended on the interpretation of the Supreme Court. The US constitution requires a broad interpretation and according to Chief Justice Marshall those involved in writing the constitution majored more on endurance. Endurance helps the congress to come up with means which by the end of the day re constitutional. If anyone needs to challenge the means provided, they have to do it constitutionally. In the Article I section 8 of the US constitution, there is no power given to the Congress regarding the national bank. However, in the same article clause 18, it states that the congress shall have the power over; (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819) “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
In his analysis Chief Justice Marshall uses the word necessity used above as the means which are used to attain the end. He also ensures that under no circumstance should the means be unattainable. According to Marshall, the writers of the constitution aimed at expanding power and not limiting. In his analysis, Marshall argued that the charter of the US bank was a mean through which many other activities are carried out. Due to this fact, authorization of the charter by the legislation was constitutionally acceptable as it would be used to achieve other powers in the constitution (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819). Marshall declared the constitution of the US bank as a valid one.
After the analysis the Chief Justice Marshall declared that Maryland’s imposition of tax was not legal. He argued that the constitution does not allow taxation on imports and exports. He used Article VI, section 2 which states that (McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316, 1819) “the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme; . . .” he did not agree with the fact that the state of Maryland had imposed tax on national bank though it was within its geographical boundaries. According to the Supremacy Clause any hostile doings are not allowed on anybody in the United States. He declared the Maryland’s tax on the United States Bank as unconstitutional and void. This was based on the fact that power to tax can be considered as power to destroy.
Conclusion (Anonymous, 2011)
In the case, McCulloch was declared innocent since what the state of Maryland was doing was not acceptable according to the constitution. His name was cleared and the United States Bank never paid the taxes or the penalty all together.
Anonymous. (2011). How to Brief a Case Using the IRAC Method. Retrieved on June 27, 2011 from
McCulloch v. M land, 17 U.S. 316. (1819). Case Brief Example. Retrieved on June 27, 2011 from
Rieksts, M. (2011). Landmark Cases in Tort Law. Retrieved on June 27, 2011 from

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