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trolled by them. It was of the very essence of supremacy, to remove all obstacles to its action within its own sphere, and so to modify every power vested in subordinate governments as to exempt its own operations from their influence. A supreme power must control every other power which is repugnant to it. The right of taxation in the states extends to all subjects over which its sovereign power extends, and no further. The sovereignty of a state extends to every thing which exists by its own authority, or is introduced by its permission; but it does not extend to those means which are employed by Congress to carry into execution their constitutional powers. The power of state taxation is to be measured by the extent of the state sovereignty, and this leaves to a state the command of all its resources, and the unimpaired power of taxing the people and property of the state. But it places beyond the reach of state power all those powers conferred on the government of the Union, and all those means which are given for the purpose of carrying those powers into execution. This principle relieves from clashing sovereignty; from interfering powers; from a repugnancy between a right in one government to pull down what there is an acknowledged right in another to build up; from the incompatibility of a right in one government to destroy what there is a right in another to preserve. The power to tax would involve the power to destroy, and the power to destroy might defeat and render useless the power to create. There would be a plain repugnance in conferring on one government a power to control the constitutional measures of another, which other, with respect to those very measures, was declared to be supreme over that which exerts the control. If the right of the states to tax the means employed by the general government did really exist, then the declaration that the constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof should be the supreme law of the land, would be empty and unmeaning declamation. If the states might tax one instrument employed by the government in the execution of its powers, they might tax
every other instrument.
They might tax the mail; they might tax the mint; they might tax the papers of the custom house; they might tax judicial process; they might tax all the means employed by the government, to an excess which would defeat all the ends of government.
The claim of the states to tax the Bank of the United States was thus denied, and shown to be fallacious; and that there was a manifest repugnancy between the power of Maryland to tax, and the power of Congress to preserve the institution of the branch bank. A tax on the operations of the bank, was a tax on the operations of an instrument employed by the government of the Union to carry its powers into execution, and was consequently unconstitutional. A case could not be selected from the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, superior to this one of M Culloch and the State of Maryland, for the clear and satisfactory manner in which the supremacy of the laws of the Union have been maintained by the court, and an undue assertion of state power overruled and defeated.
But the court were careful to declare that their decision was to be received with this qualification; that the states were not deprived of any resources of taxation which they originally possessed; and that the restriction did not extend to a tax paid by the real property of the bank, in common with the real property within the state; nor to a tax imposed upon the interest which the citizens of Maryland might hold in that institution, in common with other property of the same description throughout the state.
The decision pronounced in this case against the validity of the Maryland tax, was made on the 7th of March, 1819, and it was on the 7th of February preceding, that the legislature of the state of Ohio imposed a similar tax, to the amount of 50,000 dollars annually, on the Branch Bank of the United States established in that state. Notwithstanding this decision, the officers of the state of Ohio proceeded to levy the tax, and that act brought up before the Supreme Court a renewed discussion and consideration of the legality
of such a tax. It was attempted to withdraw this case from the influence and authority of the former decision, by the suggestion that the Bank of the United States was a mere private corporation, engaged in its own business, with its own views, and that its great end and principal object were private trade and private profit. It was admitted, that if that were the case, the bank would be subject to the taxing power of the state, as any individual would be. But it was not the case. The bank was not created for its own sake, or for private purposes. It has never been supposed that Congress could create such a corporation. It was not a private, but a public corporation, created for public and national purposes, and as an instrument necessary and proper for carrying into effect the powers vested in the government of the United States. The business of lending and dealing in money for private purposes, was an incidental circumstance, and not the primary object; and the bank was endowed with this faculty, in order to enable it to effect the great public ends of the institution, and without which faculty and business the bank would want a capacity to perform its public functions. And if the trade of the bank was essential to its character as a machine for the fiscal operations of the government, that trade must be exempt from state control, and a tax upon that trade bears upon the whole machine, and was, consequently, inadmissible, and repugnant to the constitution. In Weston v. The City Council of Charleston, it was decided, that a state tax on stock issued for loans made to the United States, was unconstitutional, The court considered it to be a tax on the power given to Congress to borrow money on the credit of the United States, and consequently repugnant to the constitution. By declaring the powers of the general government supreme, the constitution has shielded its action in the
a Osborn v. Bank of the United States, 9 Wheaton, 738, 2 Peters' U. S. Rep. 449,
exercise of its powers, from any restraining or controlling action of the local governments.
(7.) The state governments have no jurisdiction in places ceded to the United States.
to the United
The state governments may likewise lose all jurisdiction Places ceded over places purchased by Congress, by the consent of the legislature of the state, for the erection of forts, dock yards, light houses, hospitals, military academies, and other needful buildings. The question which has arisen on this subject, was as to the effect of a proviso or reservation, usually annexed to the consent of the state, that all civil and criminal process, issued under the authority of the state, might be executed on the lands so ceded, in like manner as if the cession had not been made. This point was much discussed in the Circuit Court of the United States in Rhode Island, in the case of the United States v. Cornell. It was held, that a purchase of lands within the jurisdiction of a state, with the consent of the state, for the national purposes contemplated by the constitution, did, ipso facto, by the very terms of the constitution, fall within the exclusive legislation of Congress, and that the state jurisdiction was completely ousted. What, then, is the true intent and effect of the saving clause annexed to the cessions? It does not imply the reservation of any concurrent jurisdiction or legislation, or that the state retained a right to punish for acts done within the ceded lands. The whole apparent object of the proviso was to prevent the ceded lands from becoming a sanctuary for fugitives from justice, for acts done within the acknowledged jurisdiction of the state; and such permission to execute process is not incompatible with exclusive sovereignty and jurisdiction. The acceptance of a cession, with this reservation, amounts to an agreement of the new sovereign, to permit the free exercise of such pro
a Const. art. 1. sec. 8.
b 2 Mason, 69, United States v. Davis, 5 Mason, 356. S. P.
cess, as being quoad hoc his own process. This construction has been frequently declared by the courts of the United States, and it comports entirely with the intention of the parties, and upon any other construction the cession would be nugatory and void. Judge Story doubted whether Congress were even at liberty, by the terms of the constitution, to purchase lands, with the consent of a state, under any qualification of that consent, which would deprive them of exclusive legislation over the place. The courts of the United States have sole and exclusive jurisdiction over an offence committed within a ceded place, notwithstanding the ordinary reservation of the right to execute civil and criminal process of the state. That was no reservation of any sovereignty or jurisdiction.
Congress, in exercising powers of exclusive legislation over a ceded place or district, unite the powers of general, with those of local legislation. The power of local legislation carries with it, as an incident, the right to make that power effectual. Congress exercises that particular local power, like all its other powers, in its high character as the legislature of the Union, and its general power may come in aid of these local powers. It is, therefore, competent for Congress to try and punish an offender for an offence committed within one of those local districts, in a place not within such jurisdiction; or to provide for the pursuit and arrest of a criminal escaping from one of those districts, after committing a felony there; or to punish a person for concealing, out of the district, a felony committed within it. All these incidental powers are necessary to the complete execution of the principal power, and the Supreme Court, in Cohens v. Virginia, held, that they were vested in Congress.
It follows as a consequence, from this doctrine of the federal courts, that state courts cannot take cognizance of any