polisci paper - Paul OMalley Intro to Constitutional Law...

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Paul O’Malley Intro to Constitutional Law November 23, 2010 Every Rose has it’s Thorn (including the constitution) Since the development of the United States Constitution, one of the main problems the government has faced is the issue of states right versus federal rights. Many cases have been brought to the Supreme Court as a result of this flaw and there has always been a discrepancy as to how far states rights extend. As far back as the case of McCulloch vs. Maryland(1819) 2 in 1816, States powers have been questioned and put to the test by the United States Government. This balance of power will always be questioned and will always be an issue until the federal government recognizes certain states rights, involving issues like taxes, and the growth and use of drugs. 1 The battle of states’ rights versus federal rights dates all the way back to 1816 in the case of McCulloch vs. Maryland. The federal government decided to start a second branch of the federal bank in the city of Maryland, where it was the only out-of state- bank in the entire state. The government of Maryland then issued a tax on all banks that weren’t chartered by the Maryland legislature, in what was seen to be an act that specifically pinpointed the Federal bank in Baltimore. The cashier of the bank James McCulloch refused to pay the taxes because he believed that it was out of the states’ rights to impose a tax on a government run bank. The case eventually got to the Supreme Court and is one of, if not the most influential cases in all of constitutional law. It raised the issue of how much power states hold to do what they want, and how much control the Federal Government had over what laws the states could pass, compared to similar Government rulings. The two main issues of the case asked if the federal government had the power to charter the bank, and if Maryland had the ability to
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interfere with a government run bank. The case was eventually decided unanimously for McCulloch, and the Government of Maryland had to remove the tax on all out of state banks. The main argument for Chief Justice John Marshall in the case was that the United States Government had “implied powers” stemming from the necessary and proper clause of the Constitution. These powers gave congress the ability to imply whatever powers weren’t explicitly given to them in the constitution, to implement the express powers that were required to run a functional national government. These powers were developed when Alexander
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course POLISCI 162 taught by Professor Johnbrigham during the Fall '10 term at UMass (Amherst).

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polisci paper - Paul OMalley Intro to Constitutional Law...

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