OSBORN v. BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
The state of Ohio levied taxes on each branch of the United States Bank in Ohio. Although the Court ruled in McCulloch v. Maryland that such taxes were unconstitutional, Ohio persisted in its enforcement of the tax. Defying a circuit court injunction, Ralph Osborn, the Ohio State Auditor, forcibly seized funds from the Bank. The circuit court then ordered Osborn and his colleagues to repay the amount seized.
Did the federal circuit court's assertion of jurisdiction over the case, which involved an action commenced against the state of Ohio, violate the Eleventh Amendment?
In a 6-to-1 decision, the Court held that the circuit court properly ruled against Ohio officials and that the Ohio law was "repugnant to the Constitution." The Court held that the Eleventh Amendment was limited to suits in which a state was party on the record, and that Ohio was not the target of the suit in the case at hand. Osborn and his colleagues were thus "incontestably liable for the full amount of the money taken out of the bank."