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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Overruling Mcculloch?, Mark A. Graber Jul 2019

Overruling Mcculloch?, Mark A. Graber

Arkansas Law Review

Daniel Webster warned Whig associates in 1841 that the Supreme Court would likely declare unconstitutional the national bank bill that Henry Clay was pushing through the Congress. This claim was probably based on inside information. Webster was a close association of Justice Joseph Story. The justices at this time frequently leaked word to their political allies of judicial sentiments on the issues of the day. Even if Webster lacked first-hand knowledge of how the Taney Court would probably rule in a case raising the constitutionality of the national bank, the personnel on that tribunal provided strong grounds for Whig pessimism ...


M'Culloch In Context, Mark R. Killenbeck Jul 2019

M'Culloch In Context, Mark R. Killenbeck

Arkansas Law Review

M’Culloch v. Maryland is rightly regarded as a landmark opinion, one that affirmed the ability of Congress to exercise implied powers, articulated a rule of deference to Congressional judgments about whether given legislative actions were in fact “necessary,” and limited the ability of the states to impair or restrict the operations of the federal government. Most scholarly discussions of the case and its legacy emphasize these aspects of the decision. Less common are attempts to place M’Culloch within the ebb and flow of the Marshall Court and the political and social realities of the time. So, for example ...


The Confusing Language Of Mcculloch V. Maryland: Did Marshall Really Know What He Was Doing (Or Meant)?, Sanford Levinson Jul 2019

The Confusing Language Of Mcculloch V. Maryland: Did Marshall Really Know What He Was Doing (Or Meant)?, Sanford Levinson

Arkansas Law Review

All legal “interpretation” involves confrontation with inherently indeterminate language. I have distinguished in my own work between what I call the Constitution of Settlement and the Constitution of Conversation. The former includes those aspects of the Constitution that do indeed seem devoid of interpretive challenge, such as the unfortunate assignment of two senators to each state or the specification of the terms of office of representatives, senators, and presidents. I am quite happy to concede that “two,” “four,” and “six” have determinate meaning, though my concession is not based on a fancy theory of linguistics. It is, rather, a recognition ...