Federalism: Supreme Court of the United States

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, United States Constitution, U.S. state Pages: 3 (829 words) Published: March 4, 2014
Taylor Reed
Federalism is a system of government in which the national and state share power and derive authority from the people. While they each share certain powers, each type of government is supreme in some cases. Over the years, federalism has certainly changed because more ideas have been proposed, but ultimately it has centralized the meaning for the better. In order of importance, the Marshall Supreme Court Decisions ranks number one. This began when the state of Maryland attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. Though the law, by its language, was generally applicable to all banks not chartered in Maryland, the Second Bank of the United States was the only out-of-state bank then existing in Maryland. This case established two important principles in constitutional law. Marshall first argued that historical practice established Congress' power to create the bank. Marshall invoked the first bank of the United States history as authority for the constitutionality of the second bank. Second, Chief Justice Marshall refuted the argument that states retain ultimate sovereignty because they ratified the constitution. Chief Justice Marshall also determined that Maryland may not tax the bank without violating the Constitution. This still pertains today because lawmakers use the necessary and proper clause to justify many federal actions. All states would have attempted to tax the federal agencies years ago if Marshall allowed Maryland to do so, which would just put us in debt. Second, the Civil War changed the nature of federalism. The lower southern states tried to create a confederacy, which later lead to the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments in the Constitution. These all dealt with the abolishment of slavery. This changes federalism drastically because the abolishment primarily focuses on the...
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