Criminal Justice Paper on The impact of Supreme Court on federalism

Criminal Justice Paper on The impact of Supreme Court on federalism

The case of Gibbons v. Ogden was used as a landmark that tested the capability of the federal government on how it could regulate interstate commerce. The problem started after steamships were created by Fulton and Livingstone and they were given all the monopoly over all the navigations routes in New York by the State. The two decided to use their monopoly rights to involve other businesspeople to operate on some routes at a fee. The act of selling their rights to other business people was legal .Gibson and Ogden was among the businessmen who bought the right from Livingstone and Fulton.  Later Gibson betrayed Ogden by introducing his private ships to operate on the same route. Ogden believed that it was his right to control the route because he received the right from Fulton and Livingstone. On the other hand, Gibson also believed the same since he had obtained a different license. The matter was taken to court by Ogden who wanted the court to issue an injunction against. Gibson on realizing Ogden steps, he appealed to the court to assist him so that he could continue operating on his route (Constitution Rights Foundation 20).

At the court, Gibson’s lawyer, Daniel Webster argued that the law was supreme compared to the federal. He said that it was above all the state laws. On the side of Ogden, his attorney argued that both the two laws sometimes coincide with each other. In their argument, they said that the Congress could only regulate commerce between two states and other commerce that was within the states was the sole control of states. The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Marshall sided with Gibson and held that the federal government had the right regulate all the transportation ways that involve interstates (Rehnquist 1).

McCullough vs. Maryland

This case was used to determine if the government of the United States of America had the right to operate a bank in Maryland and to determine if the state had a right to tax the government for establishing a bank in Maryland. After the Congress had developed the Second Bank of the United States of America which was to serve the citizens just like any other bank, the MD, legislators were not pleased especially after it was opened in Baltimore. The furious came because the federal government had failed to ask for permission to open the bank. This led the legislature of Maryland to pass a law that was taxing all the banks that were not chartered by the States. Apparently, the Second Bank felt that it was directed to them and therefore refused to pay the tax and they were sued by the state of Maryland. The ruling of the Supreme Court was that the government had no right to establish a bank in Maryland in that the state of Maryland could not tax the Bank for doing so (Ladenburg 2). Another thing was that it was the right of the congress to establish a bank.

From the two cases, it shows that the federal government has powers which are not stated in the constitution known as the implied powers. Some decisions are made by the courts to help in maintaining the powers of the federal government and its effectiveness. The Supreme Court helps in maintaining the balance of power between the federal government and State’s government.



Works cited

Constitution Rights Foundation. “Gibbon’s v. Ogden (1824) :The Meaning of the Commerce clause.”( 2014).Retrieved from:

Rehnquist, William H. “The Supreme Court”. Vintage,  (2007). Retrieved from:

Ladenburg, Thomas. “Digital  History. Chapter 2 :McCulloch v.Maryland”.Verizon,(2007):8-13 Retrieved from: