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AP US History Supreme Court Decisions

AP US History Supreme Court Decisions

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Published by Ayantu Regassa
Important supreme court decisions under Chief Justice John Marshall
Important supreme court decisions under Chief Justice John Marshall

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Published by: Ayantu Regassa on Dec 12, 2010
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03/23/2014

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 Name of Case: Dartmouth College v. WoodwardYear of Decision: 1819Background of Case:
Dartmouth College was a private institute with a charter that allowed it to practice privately
 New Hampshire's Republican state government wished to alter the Dartmouth charter in order to make it a public institute (state university).
Daniel Webster, who represented Dartmouth College in the case, argued that the charter was alegal contract that was protected by the ConstitutionParts of Constitution in Question:
Article I Section 10
This part of the Constitution states that “no state shall pass any Bill of Attainder, ex postfacto Law, or Law impairing the obligation of contracts.”Court's Decision and Reasoning for decision:
The Court ruled in favor of Dartmouth College
the reasoning being that the Dartmouth charter was a valid contract that was protected frominterference by the state government by section ten of article one of the Constitution
 
 Name of Case: Cohens v. VirginiaYear of Decision: 1821Background of Case:
The Cohen brothers were charged by the state of Virginia for the crime of selling District of Columbia lottery tickets in Virginia. Selling lottery tickets was against Virginia state law butwas not outlawed in D.C. by the federal government. Thus the Cohens argued that the federalwas supreme to the state of Virginia law.
However, the state of Virginia argued that the Supreme Court had no right to review a Virginiacriminal case without the consent of the state of Virginia.Parts of Constitution in Question:
Article III Section 2
gives the Supreme Court jurisdiction over the “all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States. And treaties made, or which shall be made,under their authority.”
this gives the Federal court the right to review and make decisions on all such cases asdescribed aboveCourt's Decision and Reasoning for decision:
The Court ruled in favor of Virginia
The Opinion of the Court, written by Chief Justice Marshal, states that the Court ruled infavor of Virginia because the federal act as passed by Congress only authorized the sellingof lottery tickets in the District of Columbia. The document makes it clear, however, thatunder the second section of the third article of the Constitution, the court of the Union had jurisdiction to review decisions of state courts.
 
 Name of Case: McCulloch v. MarylandYear of Decision: 1819Background of Case:
The state of Maryland, who apposed the Second Bank of the United States, imposed a taxagainst all banks not chartered by the state in protest of the B.U.S.James W. McCulloch, thecashier of the Maryland branch of the B.U.S, refused to pay the tax. In response, Maryland suedthe bank for the payment of the tax.
The state of Maryland argued that Congress did not have the power to establish the bank in thefirst place, while McCulloch argued that Maryland, as a state, did not have the power tointerfere with federal laws.Parts of Constitution in Question:
Article I Section 8
This part of the Constitution states the powers of Congress, which were in question in thiscase.Court's Decision and Reasoning for decision:
The Court ruled in favor of McCulloch
It was stated in the Opinion of the Court that Congress had the power (implied by the clause“to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper...”) to establish the Bank of theUnited States and that the state of Maryland did not have the right to tax any institutionchartered by Congress. Thus ruling that Maryland could not collect the tax from theMaryland branch of the B.U.S., because the tax was unconstitutional.

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