On Thursday, April 25, 2019, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Roger Gregory joined Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera and Judge Joseph M. Getty of the Court of Appeals of Maryland in presiding over a re-enactment of the oral arguments made before the United States Supreme Court that resulted in the High Court’s 1819 opinion in McCulloch v. Maryland.
The case centered on James McCulloch, who as head of the Baltimore branch of the Second Bank of the United States, refused to pay a tax levied by the state of Maryland. Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General for President Barack Obama, and Greg Garre, former US Solicitor General under President George W. Bush), presented the arguments.
Roughly 100 people attended the dinner program, presented at Westminster Hall in Baltimore by the MSBA Litigation Section. Sponsors included the Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, ConSource, the Maryland Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the MSBA.
Michael Wein, who with Mary Ellen Flynn co-chaired the “Bicentennial Symposium and Celebration of McCulloch v. Maryland“, called McCulloch “one of the most important Supreme Court cases,” emphasized its longevity and the fact that it is still argued today.
“It established the relationship between the state and federal governments in such a way that didn’t answer every question but acknowledged a cooperative opportunity for both the states and federal government to grow, and not knowing exactly what the future was going to be,” said Wein.
“It’s really significant in establishing the rule of law, with respect to the federal and state systems,” noted Flynn, adding that the bicentennial provided “a great opportunity to bring people together” to mark the occasion with a re-enactment.