Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase
Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase
To the Catholic Sentinel:

In a letter in the Aug. 3 Sentinel, Bob Podesfinski corrects himself for a statement he made in the June 1 Sentinel.

He cited Marbury v. Madison, in which Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” Podesfinski said that ruling actually was made in McCullouch v. Maryland in 1819.

This reminds me of a joke. As two Irishmen met on a walk, one said good day, Doherty. He responded, good day, yourself, Murphy. But my name is not Doherty, it’s Reilly. And my name is not Murphy, it’s O’Shea. And when they looked closer, it was neither of them!

It was neither of the two cases cited. It was Veazie Bank v. Fenno, where Chief Justice Chase ruled that the power to tax is the power to destroy. In 1866 Congress passed a 10-percent tax on bank notes. The bank appealed, saying the tax would prevent it from acting as a bank.

Charles Sauvie, Portland