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Student Question

What category of decision does the McCulloch vs. Maryland case fall into?

Expert Answers

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It is not clear from your question as to what sort of categories you are asking about.  There are many ways to categorize Supreme Court decisions.

One way to categorize these decisions is on the way in which they got to the Supreme Court.  Some cases come to the Supreme Court on its original jurisdiction.  They have not been decided by any previous court.  Most cases, however, are part of the Court’s appellate jurisdiction.  This case was one of these.  It was first decided by a Maryland state court and then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Another way to categorize decisions is on whether they uphold or overturn the lower court’s decision.  In this case, the lower court’s decision was overturned.

A third way to categorize decisions is by the breakdown of their vote.  This case was a unanimous decision.  All of the justices who participated in making the ruling voted to give the Congress the right to make the bank.

Finally, we can categorize Court decisions with regard to what type of law they are based on.  In this case, the decision was based on Constitutional law.  It was a case in which the Court was interpreting the Constitution.  Other cases can be based on statutory law (laws passed by Congress).  This one, by contrast, was based solely on what the Constitution says.

 Please let us know if you were looking for some other sort of categorization.

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