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McCulloch v. Maryland

Citation. 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 4 L.Ed. 579 (1819).
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Citation. 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 4 L.Ed. 579 (1819).

Brief Fact Summary.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Congress may enact laws that are necessary and proper to carry out their enumerated powers.


Maryland enacted a law that allowed them to tax any bank operating in the state without state authority. McCulloch, a cashier for the Baltimore branch of the United States Bank, was sued for violating this law.


Does Congress possess the constitutional authority to establish a United States Bank?


There is no enumerated power within the Constitution allowing for the creation of a bank. But, Congress is granted the power of making “all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.” The Supreme Court determines through Constitutional construction that “necessary” is not a limitation, but rather applies to any means with a legitimate end within the scope of the Constitution.

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