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McCulloch v. Maryland and United States v. Lopez are 2 Supreme Court cases that discussed the balance between the state and national government. This article will give a small review of the Supreme Court cases. 

A complete review of the Supreme Court cases is coming soon! 😄

McCulloch v Maryland (1819) 👨🏽‍⚖️

  • Established the supremacy clause which states that federal law has authority over state laws when there is a conflict between the two. 
  • Declared that Congress has implied powers (powers in the government that are not explicitly in the Constitution) that they can use in order to implement their  enumerated powers (specific powers granted to Congress by the Constitution).
  • Declared that Congress has implied powers (powers in the government that are not explicitly in the Constitution) that they can use in order to implement their  enumerated powers (specific powers granted to Congress by the Constitution).
  • Main point: Supremacy of national laws over states laws

United States v. Lopez (1995) 🇱🇷

  • Congress may not use the commerce clause (the congressional power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”) to justify that possession of a gun in a school zone is a federal crime. 
  • Was ruled unconstitutional because Congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause. 
  • Was important because it marked the first time in 6 years that the Supreme Court ruled that Congress overstepped its power. 
  • Main point: Created a new phase in federalism that recognized state and local power. 

Conclusion: 

McCulloch v. Maryland and United States v. Lopez represent the conflict that can occur in the government over authority. The ruling of these Supreme Court cases make sure that there is a consistent and fair balance of power between national and state bodies. 

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