The United States government does not have the power to make its obligations a legal tender

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The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Julliard v. Greenman (110 U.S. 421), held that: 1) Congress had the power to make its obligations a legal tender in the payment of private debts, and 2) that this power was an implied power under the Constitution based on the case of McCulloch v. State of Maryland. The Court determined that this implied power of making the obligations of the United States a legal tender in payment of private debts was a means (incident) to the power (expressly) given to Congress to borrow money on the credit of the United States.

However, the case of McCulloch v. State of Maryland was wrongly decided. The concept of implied powers does not exist in the Constitution. In fact, such a concept, if a doctrine would be in conflict with the doctrine that the Congress is a government of enumerated powers. As such, Congress does not have the power to make its obligations a legal tender in payment of debts, since the concept of implied powers does not exist in the Constitution. Since the power is not granted (expressly) to Congress, the power to make its obligations a legal tender in payment of private debts is not given to Congress under the Constitution of the United States of America.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dan Goodman | Attorney Advertising

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