McCulloch v. Maryland

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of McCulloch v. Maryland 

17 U.S. 316 (1819), affirmed the constitutional doctrine of Congress's “implied powers.” The decision established that Congress had not only the powers expressly conferred upon it by the Constitution but also all authority “appropriate” to its carrying out such powers—including, in this case, the authority to establish a national bank. The doctrine of implied powers became a powerful force in the steady growth of federal power.

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