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Encyclopedia > Necessary and Proper Clause

The necessary and proper clause (also known as the elastic clause) refers to Section 8 of Article One of the United States Constitution: Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of government, Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ...

"To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

The proper interpretation of this phrase has been controversial especially during the early years of the republic. Strict constructionists interpret the clause to mean that Congress may make a law only if the inability to do so would cripple its ability to apply one of its enumerated powers. Loose constructionists, on the other hand feel that the elastic clause expands the authority of Congress to all areas tengentially related to one of its enumerated powers. It is often known as the elastic clause because of the great amount of leeway in interpretation it allows; depending on the interpretation, it can be used to "stretched" to expand the powers of Congress, or allowed to "contract", limiting Congress. Strict constructionism is a philosophy of judicial interpretation and legal philosophy that holds to the meanings of words and phrases as used when they were written down. ... Loose constructionism is an ideology that allows for the interpretation, in the broadest sense, of the constitution in law, as opposed to strict constructionism which reasons that the constitution should be interpreted literally. ...

One early controversy involving the "necessary and proper" clause were the charterings of the Bank of the United States. Although the Constitution does not explicitly give Congress the authority to establish a national bank, the move was justified as being a "necessary and proper" exercise of Congress authority to make laws regulating interstate commerce under the commerce clause. The controversy continued until the renewal of its charter was vetoed by President Andrew Jackson. There were two organizations known as the Bank of the United States First Bank of the United States (1791-1811) Second Bank of the United States (1816-1841) Categories: Defunct banks ... Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, empowers the United States Congress To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. ... Order: 7th President Vice President: John C. Calhoun (1829-1832) Martin Van Buren (1833-1837) Term of office: March 4, 1829 – March 3, 1837 Preceded by: John Quincy Adams Succeeded by: Martin Van Buren Date of birth: March 15, 1767 Place of birth: Waxhaws area of South Carolina Date of...

The elastic clause has been paired with the commerce clause in particular to provide the constitutional basis for a wide variety of laws. For example, legislation making it a federal crime to crime to transport a kidnapped person across state lines is justified by considering the act to be commerce. A series of Supreme Court decisions resulting in the desegregation of private businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, was supported on the basis that these business establishments, although not directly engaged in interstate commerce, no doubt had an effect on it. Since the New Deal the Supreme Court has been reluctant to limit the scope of authority allowed under the combination of these clauses. United States v. Lopez was the first modern case finding limits to Congress' authority in this regard. The New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelts legislative agenda for rescuing the United States from the Great Depression. ... United States v. ...



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