Meme gacked from liz_marcs
: In an upcoming interview with Katie Couric to be aired this week, Sarah Palin is unable to name any Supreme Court Case other than Roe v. Wade.
The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic, to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.)
Given my home state, and the current credit crisis, I felt I would go with this noteworthy case from the John Marshall Court:
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
The State Legislature of Maryland imposed a tax that the Bank of the United States to issue its notes on special stamped paper. The legislature also stated that the BUS needed to pay the state $15,000 annually or go out of business. James McCulloch, a cashier at a branch of the bank, refused to pay the tax and a suit was filed. The State of Maryland argued that "the Constitution is silent on the subject of banks." It was Maryland's contention that because the Constitution did not specifically state that the Federal Government was authorized to charter a bank, the Bank of the United States was unconstitutional.
Although the Constitution didn't specifically give Congress the power to establish a bank, it did delegate the ability to tax and spend, and a bank was a proper and suitable instrument to assist the operations of the government in the collection and disbursement of the revenue. Because federal laws hold supreme over state laws, Maryland didn't have the power to interfere with the bank's operation by taxing it.
The most memorable phrase in
was Marshall's comment that "the power to tax involves the power to destroy". The Court ruled that a State could not levy taxes against Federal Government Agencies because this would run counter to the principle of federal supremacy which originated in the text of the Constitution.