Case Brief: Mcculloch V. Maryland

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McCulloch v Maryland
4 Wheat. (17 U.S.) 316 (1819)
May Congress charter a bank even though it is not an expressly granted power? Holding
Yes, Congress may charter a bank as an implied power under the "necessary and proper" clause. Rationale
The Constitution was created to correct the weaknesses of the Articles. The word "expressly" particularly caused major problems and therefore was omitted from the Constitution, because if everything in the Constitution had to be expressly stated it would weaken the power of the Federal government. The 10th Amendment specifically does not have the word "expressly" in it and it states that "The powers not delegated to the United States… nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people. In 1791 the bank was approved and then it collapsed. It was then reestablished in 1813 and was very successful. In Article I section 8 among the enumerated powers of Congress there is no mention of the word "bank" or "corporation." The Constitution, however, does not specifically prohibit Congress from establishing a bank. The Marshall court found that the creation of a national bank would affect the welfare of the nation; therefor, the Constitutionality of creating the bank was legitimate. The power comes from the "necessary and proper" clause, which is listed under the powers of Congress not its limits in Article I section 9. Justice Marshall shows how the word "necessary" may have different meanings depending on the context of the sentence and by the intention of the person using the word. In Article I section 10 the phrase "absolutely necessary" is applied with stronger meaning regarding imposts on imports or exports, and is different than the word "necessary" used alone in this case which was intended to mean indispensable by the framers of the Constitution. The bank is helpful to several delegated powers like commerce and military and also other necessary tools such as the...
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