Great Case of McCulloch v. Maryland

Great Case of McCulloch v. Maryland

James W. Pfister

Great Case of McCulloch v. Maryland

The debate began back in the George Washington administration. Could Congress create a national bank, even though it was not expressly given that power in the Constitution? Alexander Hamilton said yes; Thomas Jefferson said no. Hamilton believed in strong national power; Jefferson and the Republicans (no relation to today’s party) believed in state sovereignty and, as he later put it, “our confederated fabric.” He believed a national bank would undermine state sovereignty.  

The fact is that the Constitution did not give power to Congress to create a bank in so many words. The Necessary and Proper Clause would normally be read narrowly; “necessary” as a legal concept means indispensable. Creating a national bank was not necessary for carrying into execution the express powers given to Congress in Article I, Section 8. But it may be useful or convenient. Chief Justice John Marshall is going to define necessary to sometimes mean convenient, especially when it is presented among the powers of Congress, not in the next Section 9 on Congressional limitations. 

https://www.lenconnect.com/story/opinion/columns/2022/09/25/james-pfister-flexibility-mcculloch-v-maryland/69515672007/