McCulloch v. Maryland

A Look Back and a Look Forward

December 5, 2019 | 6:00 pm

McCulloch v. Maryland has been characterized as among the most important cases in the history of the Supreme Court, with one study rating it as the Court’s single most influential opinion. Did Congress have the power to create the Second Bank of the United States? And if the Bank was indeed constitutional, could the state of Maryland levy a tax on the banknotes it issued? The Court’s opinion was both praised and condemned in a dialogue that continues to this day, asking critical questions about the nature and scope of federal power, the reserved rights of sovereign states, and the proper role of federal courts, which Chief Justice John Marshall reminded us “[we] must never forget is a constitution we are expounding.” 

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