The Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland established that Congress had the power to establish a national bank and that a state (in this case, Maryland) did not have the power to tax branches of the federal government that are carrying out powers legal in the Constitution. Chief Justice Marshall wrote that the states did indeed have the power to levy taxes, but that the federal laws control the laws in the states, which cannot control the federal institutions.
The background of this case began in 1816, when Congress issued a charter for the Second Bank of the United States. Two years later, the state of Maryland passed a law imposing taxes on the bank. The cashier in the Baltimore bank branch, James W. McCulloch, would not pay the tax, so the litigation began.
The Supreme Court decision in McCulloch v. Maryland was a unanimous 7-0 (the Supreme Court would grow to its current size of nine justices later). The legal foundation of the decision was Article I of the United States Constitution, Section 8, Clauses 1 and 18. The notion of the country operating a bank caused significant controversy throughout the early nineteenth century, leading President Andrew Jackson to lead a charge to "break the bank."Learn More
Apart from the power to propose and pass laws, Congress has several non-legislative powers including the following: powers to impeach, tax, amend the Constitution, declare war, elect the President in case there is no majority in the electoral college, ratification of treaties and trade agreements, confirmation of appointments and certain investigative powers. Some of these belong to the Senate and some to the House of Representatives.Full Answer >
Worcester v. Georgia (1832) found that statutory jurisdiction of native lands was the sole right of the federal government, according to Touro College Law Center. This was a significant case for federalism, which held that states did not have the power to pass laws governing Native Americans.Full Answer >
Implied powers are authoritative actions that aren't specifically granted to Congress in the Constitution but are considered necessary to fulfill governmental duties. For example, the Constitution allows Congress to raise an army, which is known as an "expressed power." Using a mandatory draft to recruit soldiers is an implied power.Full Answer >
In Gibbons v. Ogden in 1824, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Commerce Clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress had the power to regulate commerce crossing state lines. According to PBS, this ruling included transportation and guarded against conflicting state legislation.Full Answer >